The preceding paragraph captures the double game we confront from a kingdom that, on the one hand, is routinely characterized by American officials as a reliable U.S. ally in the volatile Middle East, a crucial source of oil and a trustworthy recipient of sophisticated weaponry. On the other hand, it is also the wellspring of shariah, the supremacist totalitarian doctrine that is the law of the land in Saudi Arabia and that animates and enables jihadists worldwide – thanks to immense support from Saudi royals, government agencies, businessmen, clerics and “charities.”In a report Sunday on the intercepted Hewlett Packard printers whose ink cartridges were transformed into potent bombs and dispatched from Yemen, the New York Times declared that Saudi Arabia in recent years had been forced to “wake up to a reality it had long refused to acknowledge. The puritanical strain of Islam fostered by the state, sometimes called Wahhabism, was breeding extremists who were willing to kill even Muslims for their cause.” Now, the paper concluded, “Saudi Arabia’s problem…has become the world’s problem.”
The truth is that the Saudis’ problem has been the world’s problem for some time now. It is a problem that becomes more intractable, not less, as our government and others refuse even to come to recognize, let alone come to grips with, the Kingdom’s double game whose malevolent elements are directly fueled by what the authorities of Islam – especially those who operate in the kingdom – call shariah, rather than Wahhabism.
How has Washington chosen to respond instead? By and large, it has seen what it wants to see in the House of Saud and averted its gaze from what it does not want to see. Accordingly, the Saudis’ episodic help with countering terrorism is lauded, while their vast material and ideological contribution to its spread is largely overlooked. Their contribution to instability in the Middle East is discounted and their “peace plan” for ending the Israel-Palestinian conflict on terms that would assuredly endanger the Jewish State is enthusiastically embraced.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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