Saudi Arabia's Choice

(Washington Post) Jim Hoagland - Saudi Arabia's rapacious royals pay protection money to make problems disappear. Or at least travel to someone else's doorstep. Osama bin Laden is only the most horrible example of this time-honored Saudi practice going awry. Saudi courtiers are outraged, dismayed, and shocked that anyone could think that the roots of America's worst terrorist outrage lie in Saudi practices and lucre. (They do.) The Saudis became adept at keeping Palestinian gunmen, Syrian terror operatives, Iraqi hit squads, and other bad actors off their backs in an elaborate extortion racket called "Arab solidarity." They never met a problem they didn't try to buy off. To survive in the 21st century, the Saudis must actively help put the extortionists and terrorists out of business rather than fund and shield them.

2002-12-03 00:00:00

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