Saturday, July 23, 2005

Prince Bandar Resigns…Prince Turki Steps In

Anybody care? The wife of the Supremes nominee John Roberts is, according to the NYT, “a Roman Catholic lawyer from the Bronx whose pro bono work for Feminists for Life is drawing intense interest.” And Karl Rove and Scooter Libby’s political lives are hanging in the balance. Ergo, not much ink is being devoted to Saudi Arabia’s appointing a new Ambassador to the US. Maybe it’s those names: Prince Bandar son of Sultan son of Abdulaziz of the family Saud. And Prince Turki son of Faisal son of Abdulaziz of the family Saud. But at least everytime they are introduced you get all the family connections. However, unless you read Craig Unger’s “House of Bush House of Saud”, you’re not going to understand the intricacies of the business connections between the Royal Saud Family, the bin Laden family and the Bush family. Let’s put it this way. You can’t be obsessed with getting Saudi Arabian oil money into your own Texas pocket without climbing in bed with the Sauds and the bin Ladens. Which, of course, is exactly what the Bushes have done. And it really isn't going to make any difference whether Prince Bandar or Prince Turki is Ambassador. It wouldn’t even matter if a bin Laden were named Ambassador. The official reason given for President Bush’s buddy Prince Bandar's resignation is his bad health. (Will you ever forget the sight of Prez Bush giving Bandar a hot-oil back rub in Michael Moore’s movie, Fahrenheit 911? But I digress.) No one ever resigns from any government position except for bad health or wanting to spend more time with the family. (And given the size of the Saud Royal family, the latter probably would not have been a sane option.) It is true that Bandar’s health has not been good in the last few years. But even though Bandar and Prez Bush have gushed over the closeness of their families…“your family is my family” and that kind of maudlin stuff. Still, since 9/11 things have been strained. And the Bushes are not people who put friendship and loyalty ahead of politics. Friendship and loyalty is politics. That business of Bandar spiriting 40 Saudis out of the US on September 13th 2001 with no fuss, no muss and with help from the Bush Royal family has stuck in the craw of many Americans. And that other business regarding 15 of the 19 9/11 terrorists being Saudis also made Americans queasy about Bandar. So Bandar has been practically invisible both as GWB’s playpal and as Ambassador since 9/11. At least we knew what we had with Bandar. He was educated here. He loved what followers of Islam call our decadence and he was invaluable as a Bush connection to Middle East oil. But what have we got with Turki? He also is of the family Saud. He also was educated here. And to say he was a little too close to the Taliban, AlQaeda and Osama bin Laden before 2001 would put the case mildly. But, we are told, he’s out of that unfortunate bidness and he’s strictly on our side now. Well, the Saud Royal family and the bin Laden family have invested heavily in the Carlyle Group, so I guess you would call that being on our side. Because, God knows, the US has invested heavily in the Carlyle Group. But here’s the bottom line. We went to war in Iraq because of oil. The House of Saud and the bin Ladens (minus Osama) are all about oil. As far as the Bush family is concerned, nothing else matters. Therefore Bandar/Turki/bin Laden, it’s all one. They are totally interchangeable to the White House. Oil is the Bush/Saud/bin Laden family business. And we must never forget that.

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