September 22, 2002

Say Again?: Check out this ...

Say Again?: Check out this unattributed assertion in an L.A. Times news article today about Saudi-U.S. relations:

Saudi Arabia's leadership has a reputation of choosing its words carefully and rarely being duplicitous.
What was it Johnny Carson used to say? I did not know that! Later, we watch a top Saudi official choose his words carefully and unduplicitously:
Interior Minister Nayif, while emphasizing how strongly his nation condemned the Sept. 11 attacks, insisted that there is no credible evidence that Bin Laden or the 19 suspected hijackers either planned or carried out the attacks. And he said that if they did do it, some other organization was behind them.

"Personally, I think Al Qaeda is not qualified and doesn't have the ability to do such a big and criminal action such as happened in the Sept. 11 attack," he said.

"In any case, we cannot say for sure. They claim that they did it. At the same time, maybe they were an agent for those people who asked them to do it, or those people who are really behind it."

Posted by at September 22, 2002 02:38 PM
Comments

Why is it that every time someone from the House of Saud speaks, I feel like I should hide the family silver?

Posted by: Mark Edwards at September 22, 2002 11:13 PM

Alternative theory, based on some actual knowledge:

Naif is notorious for being out of step with the rest of the Saud family. He panders to the right and does a fair job of undercutting the crown prince whenever the latter tries to push a reform through. He is, in fact, a horse's ass, and not representative of the government, even though--for political barter reasons--he a minister.

You miss an important fact, too: rather than the population being oppressed by a heavy-handed gov't, the gov't is actually reform-minded. But with the 1979 examples of the Shah of Iran and the conservative radical take over of the mosque in Mecca, they are not really interested in getting taken off at the knees when the public refuses reform. You can drag a population only so far and so fast.

Posted by: Juke at September 23, 2002 05:40 AM

Actually, I agree with half that statement.

"some other organization was behind them."

Over at http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020325fa_FACT1, Jeffrey Goldberg gives some pretty good evidence Saddam has been supporting al Qaeda for some time.

Posted by: Stephen St. Onge at September 23, 2002 11:13 PM
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d the Sept. 11 attacks, insisted that there is no credible evidence that Bin Laden or the 19 suspected hijackers either planned or carried out the attacks. And he said that if they did do it, some other organization was behind them.

"Personally, I think Al Qaeda is not qualified and doesn't have the ability to do such a big and criminal action such as happened in the Sept. 11 attack," he said.

"In any case, we cannot say for sure. They claim that they did it. At the same time, maybe they were an agent for those people who asked them to do it, or those people who are really behind it."

Posted by at September 22, 2002 02:38 PM
Comments

Why is it that every time someone from the House of Saud speaks, I feel like I should hide the family silver?

Posted by: Mark Edwards at September 22, 2002 11:13 PM

Alternative theory, based on some actual knowledge:

Naif is notorious for being out of step with the rest of the Saud family. He panders to the right and does a fair job of undercutting the crown prince whenever the latter tries to push a reform through. He is, in fact, a horse's ass, and not representative of the government, even though--for political barter reasons--he a minister.

You miss an important fact, too: rather than the population being oppressed by a heavy-handed gov't, the gov't is actually reform-minded. But with the 1979 examples of the Shah of Iran and the conservative radical take over of the mosque in Mecca, they are not really interested in getting taken off at the knees when the public refuses reform. You can drag a population only so far and so fast.

Posted by: Juke at September 23, 2002 05:40 AM

Actually, I agree with half that statement.

"some other organization was behind them."

Over at http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/?020325fa_FACT1, Jeffrey Goldberg gives some pretty good evidence Saddam has been supporting al Qaeda for some time.

Posted by: Stephen St. Onge at September 23, 2002 11:13 PM
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