roposed it -- to anyone other than Thomas Friedman of The New York Times, that is. In any case, it's the same peace plan they dust off every 10 years --they proposed it in 1991, and before that in 1981. It's just a couple of months late this time round. But book a meeting around October 2011 with King Abdullah (as he plans on being by then) and he'll gladly propose it to you one mo' time. Prince Abdullah has no interest in Palestinians: It's easier for a Palestinian to emigrate to Toronto and become a subject of the Queen than to emigrate to Riyadh and become a subject of King Fahd. But the Prince's peace plan usefully changes the subject from more embarrassing matters -- such as the Kingdom's role in the events of September 11th. [...]

Because everything the Kingdom does seems to be self-evidently inimical to the West, any old four-year old can point out that the King is in the altogether hostile mode. It takes an old Saudi hand like Mr. Freeman to draw attention to the subtler shades of meaning, to explain the ancient ways of Araby, by which, say, an adamant refusal to arrest associates of the September 11th hijackers is, in fact, a clear sign of the Saudis' remarkable support for Washington. If the Saudis nuked Delaware, the massed ranks of former Ambassadors would be telling Peter Jennings that, obviously, even the best allies have their difficulties from time to time, but this is essentially a little hiccup that can be smoothed over by closer consultation.

Do they know what they're talking about? You'll remember the old-school Kremlinologists, who'd watch the Red Army parades and tip as the coming man the 87-year old corpse with the luxuriant monobrow and the waxy complexion propped up against the 93-year old Commissar of the Sverdlovsk gas works and people's hall of culture. The Kremlinologists got everything wrong, of course, and they only had a couple of dozen guys to divine the intentions of. Saudi Arabia has 7,000 princes -- at the time of writing; it may be up to 7,600 if you're reading this after lunch. Here's a bit I wrote back in January about another former U.S. ambassador, Wyche Fowler. These people, it can't be stressed enough, have the Administration's ear much more than Ted Rall or Michael Moore. Also, I'd be curious to hear if there's ever been a book that kept score of all the dependably incorrect predictions by the Kremlinologists....

ns of. Saudi Arabia has 7,000 princes -- at the time of writing; it may be up to 7,600 if you're reading this after lunch. Here's a bit I wrote back in January about another former U.S. ambassador, Wyche Fowler. These people, it can't be stressed enough, have the Administration's ear much more than Ted Rall or Michael Moore. Also, I'd be curious to hear if there's ever been a book that kept score of all the dependably incorrect predictions by the Kremlinologists....

Posted by at March 6, 2002 10:23 PM
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