The Corner

When in Saudi Arabia . . .

Recent events, Delta-wise, have picked the scab off an old wound. This is a wound that dates from 1990. Our soldiers were in Saudi Arabia, preventing an invasion of that country by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. That was a lousy country to be invaded by, as the Kuwaitis can tell you. And our soldiers were forbidden to wear crosses or Stars of David. Wouldn’t want to offend the host — the people we were protecting — you know.

That was hard for a lot of us to swallow; but swallow it we did, because President Bush (41) told us we had to, and he was right, as he usually was. Geopolitics was more important than neckwear.

May I make another point, one I never tire of making (though my readers may tire of hearing it)? In Saudi Arabia, the penalty for possessing the Bible is expulsion. That’s if you’re a foreigner. The penalty, if you’re a citizen: is beheading.

Have a nice day!

P.S. Hang on, another point — another oft-repeated one: In Saudi Arabia, there is not a church or synagogue. They are forbidden. In the Free West, there’s a mosque on every street corner. Why does no Saudi Arabian think that’s weird? Do they?

P.P.S. During the administration of Bush 43, whenever I questioned a top foreign-policy official about Saudi Arabia, the answer came, “They’ve done everything we’ve asked of them. Everything.” And those officials? They ought to have known.

P.P.P.S. Despite my earlier rhetoric, I can assure you: There are Saudis who are hungering and thirsting for liberalization. Some of them are highly placed. I have met and talked with them, and they are determined. They also need time, as you can imagine.

P.P.P.P.S. If you didn’t like the USA Today headline, “Airline to Jewish rumor: . . .,” how did you like the recent headline in Aftenposten, the leading Norwegian newspaper, the New York Times of Norway? The story had to do with Obama and Jewish voters — who are, of course, among the very strongest for him. Some, however, were upset at his treatment of Israel, and were talking about withholding their campaign contributions in the 2012 cycle.

Aftenposten’s headline: “Rich Jews Threaten Obama.” Of course.


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