TCU Daily Skiff Friday, April 23, 2004
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Bush ties seem a bit fishy

Justin Vann

Last Thursday, the State Department quietly urged all nonessential U.S. diplomats and private U.S. citizens to leave Saudi Arabia. Senior officials stated that there was “recent and credible information indicating that extremists are planning further attacks against U.S. and Western interests.”

Now, regardless of whether or not you trust the Bush administration, you have to admit that something smells fishy about this sudden evacuation. In Fallujah, four American citizens were brutally murdered, and we had to restrain ourselves from nuking the entire city. But now, in Saudi Arabia, in response to an “elevated threat,” we’re just pulling out?

As it stands, the United States is pretty chummy with Saudi Arabia. A few weeks ago, Condoleezza Rice mentioned that Saudi Arabia was “fully on board” in the war on terror.

I think that’s kind of interesting, considering that 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers were “on board” the jets that toppled the Twin Towers and crashed into the Pentagon and Pennsylvania. I’m not trying to say Saudis are terrorists. However, a poll taken in October 2001 of educated Saudis in Saudi Arabia between the ages of 25 and 41 found that 95 percent of those polled “had sympathy for the cause of ... Osama bin Laden.” Neil Macfarquhar, a reporter for the New York Times, notes that “admiration of bin Laden is evident even among those who dislike his austere Islamic vision.” In January 2002, Riyadh confirmed that 100 of the 158 alleged al Qaeda prisoners in Guantanamo Bay were Saudis.

Fun fact: The Saudi monarchy, at best, parallels the level of oppression seen in the Taliban. No free speech, press or assembly. No political parties. No dissent. No women’s rights. We’re talking religious fundamentalism, secret police, public executions, torture rooms, the works. It is, in every sense of the phrase, a totalitarian monarchy.

I want to slap President Bush every time he says terrorists “hate our freedom.” Terrorists hate the United States’ long-time alliance with the governments that oppress and kill them. That’s why we’re evacuating from Saudi Arabia. So, if you aren’t already thinking it, I’ll just come out and say it: Why are we best buds with Saudi Arabia? Well there’s only one person who can answer that.

President Bush’s spokespeople are reassuring the public that Bush did not make a deal with Saudi prince Bandar to increase oil production, thereby lowering gas prices before the election, as was claimed in Bob Woodward’s book, Plan of Attack. Let’s forget the fact that Bush is still taking tea with one of the world’s most oppressive supporters of terrorism. There are still plenty of reasons to see Bush is lying.

Bush censored 28 pages of the congressional investigative report on the 9/11 attacks. The 28 pages dealt with Saudi Arabia’s connection to the attacks. Days after 9/11, Bush allowed private Saudi jets to pick up 24 members of the bin Laden family and transport them outside the United States. We are still holding children in Guantanamo Bay, but Bush gave bin Laden’s family a first class ticket to freedom! George Bush Sr.’s nickname among Saudi royalty is “Bandar Bush,” given all the business investments made by the Bushes with the Saudis.

And yet, there are people in this world who believe that Bush is not exploiting his political ties with Riyadh to boost his approval rating near the election. These people are living in complete denial. President Bush is sleeping with the devil, and it’s about time he got burned.
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