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by LA TIMES & j.SCHMIDT
Monday, Oct. 15, 2001 at 2:32 AM
The U.S. can not continue to maintain its economic and political domination in the Near East without the coperation of Saudi and other crucial states in the area.
SAUDIS REJECT AIDING U.S.!
The U.S. is dependant on foreign oil for 55% of its needs. It could not make war and satisfy civilian demands simultaneously if there were significant restrictions on its oil supply. In 1971, around the time OPEC became a major player on the world scene, an oil shortage crisis developed here causing as much as one hour waits at gas stations to receive a 5 gallon ration of gas and at high prices. Although OPEC supplies only part of the needs of the Western nations we could not function without them. The economic chaos caused by OPEC at that time was a major factor in triggering the deepest recession and unemployment here since the Great Depression. That’s one reason why the U.S. now has 6,000 troops stationed in Saudi Arabia and a major portion of the fleet. This enables Exxon and their Washington political puppets to have a modicum of security.
Now comes the dinger! On page one of the LA TIMES of Oct. 13, 2001 the following is reported. According to Robert Baer, a former CIA officer in the Middle East “While (U.S.) authorities, since Sept.11, have rounded up alleged terrorists and frozen suspicious bank accounts across Europe- the Saudis have made no such overt moves. They are completely unsupportive as of today. The rank and file Saudi policeman is sympathetic
to Bin Laden. They’re not telling us who these people were on the planes.”
Vincent Cannistraro, the former chief of counter- terrorism operations for the CIA, also said “The U.S. is getting little if anything from its presumed ally. We’re getting zero cooperation now. There is a whole pile of Saudi businessmen who have been providing
Regular contributions to Al Qaeda.” He spent 27 years with the CIA and said he has retained contacts within Saudi Arabia and that, based on his information “The amount of money flowing from there to Al Qaeda is ‘at a minimum, tens of millions a year. That’s a bare minimum…. This money accounts for much of the resources of Al Qaeda.”
Paul Wihbe, a Middle East specialist and former consultant to the U.S. Defense Dept. said “The Saudi royal family is divided and in paralysis. Support for Bin Laden’s
Message and resentment of the U.S. run deep here. The royal family’s grip on power
Could be loosening.”
Wihbe continues “ Bin Laden also has tremendous support among the clergy who
Recently issued decrees against the House of Saud monarchy. They repudiated the monarchy’s relationship with the U.S. This is unprecedented- it’s a challenge to the house of Saud. What ensued is an ‘unprecedented distancing in Saudi-U.S. relations.”
In my opinion, the testimony related above plus the widespread disaffection demonstrated by most of the people in the near east plus OPEC’s power to play the oil card will make it difficult if not impossible for the U.S. to continue to maintain its position of economic and military dominance in the region.
In the region.
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