Anyone who has studied the least little bit of European history, or just watched a PBS series on any one of English monarchs, knows that “the state”, in the person of the king, isn’t a single entity. Some are official. Many are not.
Every royal court I’ve ever encountered was a hive of whispers and intrigues, not just about access to the king’s ear, but actual national policy. Elizabeth I had in her court men who conspired with the Spanish, and who tried to formulate policy directly the opposite of the Queen’s.
The hardest job for any monarch is to make sure his policies are carried out, and that no one else is carrying out policies in his name.
You already know all this. But it does makes for good reading and good television.
And in knowing this you don’t really have to know much about the Middle East to know that in a region where kings still hold sway, those same rules apply.
I hate demagoguery. I especially hate it among conservatives, and I hate it even worse among conservatives who have the loudest bullhorns.
There is only one corporate “official” Saudi Arabia, but several other false-Saudi Arabia’s also exist, as I just described. A lot of people are out there taking Saudi Arabia’s official name in vain, pursuing policies and saying things that are not from the head of state. It has always been that way.
I first noted this before 9/11, in an email to John Gibson when he still had the 5PM slot before Special Report. I brought this same point up then, so this is not new.
Just to get a taste, a quick history. The first king, Saud, came roaring out of the desert fastness in 1902 and stormed Mecca like Jed Clampett stormed LA. Oil had been discovered in 1938, and those raw, ragged desert Arabs quickly became very rich. Beyond anyone’s belief. Cement ponds galore. In 1953 that King Saud died and he was replaced succeeded by his son, Saud II. But in 1964, he was deposed and replaced by his half-brother, who was in turn assassinated by his nephew and replaced by his half-brother in 1975. Then in 1982 this king died of natural causes (Glory be, a miracle!) and was succeeded by his brother, Fahd, who was a friend of America, while Reagan was president.
Now believe it or not, Saddam’s invasion of Iraq in 1991 probably did more to split the politics of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East as anything Israel or the great Satan, America, ever did… especially among all the half-brothers, half-cousins and half-uncles, all the original Saud’s little seedlings.
For it was mostly about oil, not religion, things the above-mentioned “Jack Saudi Muslims” consider really important matters. (This term is taken from the Mormon; these are Muslims who have no hesitancy to substitute their flowing thaubes and keffiyas for a $5000 Armani silk suit and hop over to Manama for a weekend of gaming at the tables, whoring and a fine bottle of cognac. Every religion has its sneak-away places.)
Al-Qaida claims to have formed itself because King Fahd profaned sacred Saudi ground by allowing infidels (including female pilots) to use their air base during the Gulf War. While we in the West (me included) accuse the Wahabbis of being a really ultra-zealous religious group, plus a part of the SA government (Religion Police), enriched by a tithe of all Saudi oil revenues, they were still considered to be moderates to many Saudis who believed their government had been too accommodating with the Americans, and too lenient with the strict rules of the faith. (People get picky that way when they got nothing better to do but sitting about and drinking tea with the fellas at the chaikana while drawing a six-figure guaranteed income.)
What all this means, in short, is that there has always been a strong anti-Western faction among the half-kinsmen working against the king, all of them carrying an equal 1/32nd of the original King Saud’s blood, all of whom comprise the Saudi Royal family and government.
The point is, the expansion of madrassas in the United States and many other Muslim countries who only wanted to have mosques with tile floors, is a result of the Wahabbis, not the Saudi government. The Wahhabis have their own bank account, and quite frankly, carry out their own foreign policy, and when you meet one for a Hallal-burger in Fairfax, they will never tell you which one they are. You may think they are Saudi Arabia, but they are not,
So it should go without saying that the Saudi military and Saudi intelligence services (who are very good, I’m told) also have pro- and anti-west factions. Some are as fragmented as the Baptists. And, as we already learned with the Pakistani government in the Afghanistan War, where there is much sympathy with Taliban, you can never be too sure who you’re sharing secrets with. Hundreds of American soldiers have died there with the direct of agents inside the Pakistani government, especially their secret police, who,we know assisted in the downing of that helicopter in 2011 near Kabul that killed 30 Special Forces troops, including members of Seal Team 6 that took out bin Laden. Some belive that was the reason for the attack; payback.
I’m not in any Arab need-to-know circle, but I do know that Saudi intelligence had operatives in the US pursuing terrorist leads before 911. Likewise, at the time of the Boston bombing, they were also here, all with the knowledge, and discreet permission of the United States government.
The problem today is, which United States government? Ever since Teddy Kennedy opened up a shadow American government by trying to work with Soviet KGB during Reagan’s first term, we never know. Do we?
So, when I read that a young Saudi national was injured in the Boston bombing, hospitalized, then red-flagged for deportation rather than arrested and questioned, after the president spoke with a high Saudi government official the evening of the bombing, and now has disappeared from all known media radar…
…I don’t know which “Saudi government” he was working for, and which Saudi government’s representative visited with Obama to gain his release. Was he spying on religious zealots or was he supporting them?
Far worse, I don’t know which “American government” is in charge in these matters, anymore. Let’s face it, when you don’t know who’s side your president is on, it’s hard to known which “Saudi Arabia” he’s working with.
So, if you don’t know which “Saudi Arabia” is working with us right now, and you don’t know which “us” is talking to them, the best thing to do is to holster your weapon, and wait it out, Glen Beck. We may never know until someone dies and mentions it in his memoirs. That’s just how things are.