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20 years

By Jon Christian Ryter
Copyright 2002 - All Rights Reserved
To distribute this article, please post this web address or hyperlink

     During the presidential debates in 1988 then presidential candidate George H.W. Bush uttered a phrase that would come back to haunt him during the Election of 1992: “Read my lips,” the Vice President said, “no new taxes.” In 2002 his son and current President George W. Bush uttered a phrase that will haunt Bush’s prospects of winning the war on terrorism. The phrase? “The axis of evil—Iraq, Iran and North Korea.”
     During past administrations, America’s response to terrorism was completely reactive. If a terrorist organization struck an American target anywhere in the world, or killed Americans in terrorist acts in foreign lands, the United States retaliated. One terrorist act, one retaliatory strike. During the Clinton years, national security advisors predicted that within the next decade Islamic terrorists would manage to buy nuclear missiles from a rogue nation, or would at least buy or steal the know-how to construct a nuclear weapon and would then launch a nuclear strike against the United States.
     This knowledge and Osama bin Laden’s successful attack against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon altered America’s public position on responding to terrorism. America no longer had the luxury of making a token response to terrorism. The nature of Osama bin Laden’s attack against the infrastructure of the United States changed that for all time. For the first time since 1861, the citizens of the United States awoke to discover the ravages of war on American soil.
     Osama bin Laden did more than start a Jihad by killing over 4,000 innocent Americans and foreign nationals who worked at the World Trade Center (even though the U.S. government has been “officially reducing the number of dead by eliminating all duplicate names and deleting the names of all foreign nationals from the “American” tally).
     Bin Laden woke an angry giant with the strength of Samson.
     And Samson was determined to slay his enemies with the jawbone of an ass.
     The ranking members of the Taliban which controlled the government of Afghanistan quickly learned the “jawbone” America was going to use was attached to their own skulls. Clearly nobody—not bin Laden, nor Mohammed Atef, nor Sheik Mullah Omar, nor the Taliban, nor the al Qaeda thought the United States would respond to the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with an all-out invasion of a sovereign nation for two reasons.
     First, the government of Afghanistan did not attack America. Bin Laden was convinced that America would fire a few guided missiles at suspected al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and possibly Sudan, and then President Bush would sputter the same type of anti-terrorist rhetoric that Bill Clinton had sputtered before him. Second, bin Laden was convinced that Bush would be unable to respond by invading Afghanistan because, at that moment—on August 24, 2001—young President Bush was enmeshed in a personal diplomatic crisis with the Saudi royal family that nobody outside the State Department knew about. Nobody, that is, except the entire Arab world.
     On August 24 Bush gave a news conference from his ranch in Crawford, Texas. When a reporter asked Bush for his opinion on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process which had just been interrupted by a new round of Palestinian-instigated violence, a CNN viewer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia leaned forward in his chair to listen more closely to Bush’s response. The listener was Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz, the defacto ruler of Saudi Arabia.
     Oblivious of how closely his words were being monitored in Riyadh, Bush said: “The Israelis will not negotiate under terrorist threat. If the Palestinians are interested in a dialogue, then I strongly urge Mr. Arafat to put 100% into...stopping terrorist activity. And, I believe he can do a better job of doing that.”
     The Crown Prince, a very emotional man according to a Saudi source to the Washington Post at the time, went “bananas” at the Bush remark. Prince Abdullah believed Bush was whitewashing Israel’s culpability in the violence by laying all of the blame at the doorstep of Yassar Arafat. And, of course, Bush was doing just that because Arafat’s terrorists were massacring innocent Israeli men, women and children and then screamed foul when the Israelis retaliated. In the mind of the Saudi prince, as in the minds of the rest of the Arab world, Israel was at fault not because the Jews initiated terrorist acts against the Palestinians, but because the Jews were not intimidated by the Hamas, the Hezbollah or the Palestinian Liberation Front and, surrounded on all sides by historic enemies, retaliated tenfold to acts of aggression against the Israeli population. Making matters worse in Abdullah’s mind was the fact that the United States backed their play and provided the Jews with the weapons the Israelites needed to hold the Arab world at bay. Compounding that was the Saud’s political alliance—out of economic necessity—with America, the best friend of their worst enemy, the Jews.
     Watching the same news conference from his rustic “mansion” in Aspen, Colorado Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan (the ambassador to the United States) anticipated the call from the Crown Prince. What he didn’t expect was the message he was to relay to George Bush. Abdullah ordered Bandar to fly to Washington immediately and deliver a message to Bush. Abdullah’s message was delivered the following day to National Security Director Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of State Colin Powell. The message was as harsh as it was blunt: “We believe there has been a strategic decision by the United States that its national interest in the Middle East is 100% based on [Israeli interests].” Abdullah admitted that America had the prerogative to take any position it deemed to be in its national interest, but Saudi Arabia could not accept that decision on the part of the Bush Administration. “Starting today,” the Crown Prince said, “you go your way and I go mine. From now on, we will protect our national interests regardless of where America’s interests lie in the region.”
     Bandar advised Rice and Powell that effective immediately the Saudi government was breaking diplomatic ties with the United States and, Bandar said, to “...get busy rearranging our lives in the Middle East.”
     No word that Saudi Arabia had just broken diplomatic relations with the United States leaked to the mainstream media until February 10, 2002, long after the diplomatic crisis had passed. But, word leaked rapidly through the Islamic community. Good news spreads quickly in the Muslim world—and it spreads particularly fast in the shadowy world of the Islamic terrorists.
     Knowing that the diplomatic fracture would be mended quickly, the Islamic terrorists in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Palestinian zone on the West Bank of Israel knew they had a small window of opportunity available in which they could boldly launch an assault on American soil and very likely get away with it without any meaningful retaliation from America since the United States would need the political support of the Sauds to successfully attack any Islamic nation and avoid being condemned in the court of world opinion. In addition, the United States is dependent on Saudi oil—and they need the Sauds to help control the price of oil at the wellhead—a fact brought home very forcefully in 1973 when an American-armed Israel took on, and defeated the Arab world in 1973 leading to the Saudi-led OPEC oil embargo that economically crippled America and led to skyrocketing inflation in the United States and caused Richard Nixon to impose price and wage controls in the United States to keep the American economy from suffering complete collapse.
     Something happened on August 24, 2001 that has not happened since Ronald Reagan was inaugurated on January 20, 1981—the Saudis deliberately “listened” to the political rhetoric coming out of the White House. The United States and the Sauds have had a “diplomatic understanding” prior to August 24 that was mutually beneficial to both nations. Both nations agreed not to “hear” the political bantering of the other nation. This political “deafness” allowed the ideologically-opposed nations to maintain the notion that they are indeed true allies whose common interests greatly outweigh their political and theological differences. In the Islamic world, no interest outweighs the interests of Allah.
     Taken completely by surprise, Prince Bandar’s message from the Crown Prince shocked the Bush Administration. Over the next 48 hours, the Bush State Department scrambled to appease the Sauds. The appeasement began with a letter of apology from George W. Bush—and pressure applied by the Bush national security team and the State Department on Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to use more “discretion” in retaliating against Palestinian terrorist acts [i.e., no lethal retaliation].
Clearly the Islamic fundamentalists believed that the Sauds were signalling a move back to the Islamic right. Most viewed the Crown Prince’s decision as a sign that the Sauds were going to turn their backs on their American benefactors as they did in 1973 to force the American State Department to force Ariel Sharon to negotiate with Yassar Arafat. If the Islamic terrorists in the Mideast were going to launch a massive strike against the infrastructure of the United States there would likely never be a better time to do it. While the Saudi embassy felt it would take the Bush Administration a week or so to fashion an adequate reply to the Crown Prince’s rebuff, most of the Islamic leaders in the Mideast believed it would take up to 30 days for America to fashion an appropriate response since they believed Bush’s first act would be to have Colin Powell meet with Ariel Sharon and insist that the Jews modify their essential position on the Palestinians.
     The pundits were wrong.
     Bush responded within 36 hours.
Not only did he respond, he surprised the Arab world by offering to solve the Arab-Israeli dispute to the complete satisfaction of the Sauds. What startled the Crown Prince most was that Bush wholeheartedly endorsed a semblance of the Bill Clinton plan to create a formal Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip. Bush agreed to participate more actively in the peace process, forcing concessions from Israel to make a Palestinian state a reality.
     Tragically, Bush’s position on August 26 was not much different from Bill Clinton’s Arab-Israeli position. And, Clinton’s position was totally pro-Palestinian. In his letter to Crown Prince Abdullah Bush said: “I reject this extraordinary, unAmerican bias whereby the blood of an Israeli child is more expensive and [holier] than the blood of a Palestinian child. I reject people who say when you kill a Palestinian it is in defense; when a Palestinian kills an Israeli, it’s a terrorist act.” Bush, the Saudis declared, put into writing things that Bill Clinton talked about but would not commit to paper. Clinton was smart enough never to leave a paper trail that could cost him votes. Bush, on the other hand, was smart enough to realize that the Jewish vote would automatically be cast for whatever Democrat ran against him in 2004. What Bush would have to worry about losing in 2004 was the Christian vote. However, if he did not get the Sauds back in his corner, he would risk losing the support of his key backers in the oil industry—Royal Dutch Shell, Standard Oil and the Seven Sisters. If that happened, Bush would have trouble enough mustering the support he needed to get the GOP nomination let alone get re-elected.
     Bush’s quick response headed off an Arab Summit called by the Crown Prince in which Abdullah planned to commit the full support of the Saudi government to the Palestinian cause. On August 24, as Prince Bandar alerted Colin Powell to the diplomatic dilemma that existed, the Saudi military chief-of-staff, General Salih Ali bin Muhayya met with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. The following day, after delivering Crown Prince Abdullah’s message to the White House, Prince Bandar was ordered to cancel a formal meeting with Rice, Rumsfeld and Powell and return to Riyadh. Forty other Saudi princes were scheduled to fly in to Washington to attend this meeting. The flight was cancelled and the diplomats were told to stand down.      There would be no meeting.
     As the Bush people—including George H.W. Bush—tried to put out the brush fire before it became a full-fledged forest fire that would ultimately consume the administration of George W. Bush, the Islamic fundamentalists in the al Qaeda grabbed the initiative to expedite their plans to attack America. Osama bin Laden raced to strike America before Bush’s problems with the Sauds was resolved, believing if he succeeded the al Qaeda would forever drive a wedge between the Sauds and the United States that would destroy not only America but Israel.

Saudi Expectations
     When George W. Bush won the Election of 2000 the Saudi royal family was ecstatic because the new president was the son of the most popular American president in Saudi Arabia—George H.W. Bush—who was viewed as a national hero in Saudi Arabia. But expectations from the son waned quickly as George W. made one gaffe after another in the opening days of his administration. G.W. came across to many on the international scene as a “Rambo wannabee.” To many in the Saudi government, young Bush was thought to be “goofy.” He was believed to be a political lightweight who would very likely get      America involved in a major war in the Mideast.
     Bush’s letter to the Crown Prince transformed him from a midget to a giant.
     Abdullah responded with a 25-page letter to Bush. In order that the other Gulf States understand that Saudi Arabia had recommitted its allegiance to the United States, Crown Prince Abdullah sent a copy of his reply to Bush to Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Bashar Assad of Syria, and King Abdullah of Jordan. The Crown Prince then summoned Yassar Arafat to Riyadh. At the time, Arafat was in South Africa trying to buy arms. Abdullah forced Arafat to pledge to satisfy Bush’s demands for what Arafat had to do to rekindle the peace talks.

September 11
     Life not only in America but in the Mideast changed forever with the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In a statement concerning the ramifications of the terrorist attack, Prince Bandar admitted that he couldn’t imagine any tragedy that would do “...more damage to Islam and Saudi Arabia” than that which happened on September 11.
As America declared war on terrorism so did England—and so did Israel.
     The day after the terrorist attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, Crown Prince Abdullah ordered his oil minister, Ali Nuaimi, to rescind a pledge he had made to OPEC only the day before. On September 10 OPEC agreed to curb oil production in order to raise the price of crude, creating artificial shortages of fuel oil and gasoline at the pump not only in the United States but around the world—at the precise moment that the United States would begin consuming twice the oil America would normally consume in a peacetime environment if the United States decided to respond to the terrorist attack on American soil.
     Mindful of the “misunderstanding” with the Crown Prince on August 24, the Bush Administration was quick to meet with Prince Bandar to make certain that Crown Prince Abdullah and President Bush were in agreement “not to hear” the bantering of the other as America launched its war on terrorism that would obligate either of them to take diplomatic positions that were counterpoised to the political and financial interests of both.
     As Bush launched his public relations campaign to sell America on the War on Terrorism that America was told would extend well past the borders of Afghanistan and well beyond the body bags that contained the corpses of Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Atef and Shiekh Mullah Omar, the Israelis ratcheted up their own war against the Palestinian Liberation Front, using Bush’s words to justify their own war on terrorism against the Palestinians, the Hamas and the Hezbollah that were increasing their attacks on innocent Jews in response to Bush’s attacks on the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan.
     As the patriotic zeal of the liberals in the American media cooled, ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN ordered the removal of displays of the American flag from on-camera shots, declaring that such displays of patriotism were “biased” and “inflammatory.” The mainstream media began counting body bags—not American body bags, but Islamic ones—and weighed the bomb damage in New York and Washington, DC against the bomb craters in Afghanistan and decided that America had received its pound of flesh and should end its war on terrorism.
     The media decided that America was being unduly brainwashed into believing that Islamics are bad people whose theology mandates that they kill infidels [Americans] and Jews—a mandate ordered by the Qu’ran [Koran]. To counter this growing public perception in the United States, the California Board of Education (one of the most ethnically-diverse States in the nation) pushed a measure through the State legislature that would allow an Islamic advocacy group, the Council on Islamic Education that actively promotes the theology of Islam in the public schools of America to set up its headquarters in a vacant classroom at the Carden Hall Elementary School in Fountain Valley, California where its founder, Shabbir Mansuri dispensed copies of the Koran to the California public school system for use in the classroom. In addition one of America’s largest textbook publishers, Houghton-Mifflin, hired Mansuri as a “consultant” to edit a new textbook that was introduced into the classrooms of California schools in January, 2002. The text, called Across the Centuries is being used in a new class called World History and Geography Medieval and Early Modern Times. This, of course, is a blatant, in-your-face violation of the First Amendment that is being ignored by anti-religious and civil rights groups—and Christian groups that have been targeted by the American Civil Liberties Union who should be filing lawsuits not only against the Council on Islamic Education but the Boards of Education in almost every State that has adopted the Islamic curriculum since this is precisely what the First Amendment bans—a State-sponsored religion.
     As the Bush Administration cautioned America that the War on Terrorism would take not weeks or months, but years, to win the liberals countered by engineering a program to indoctrinate the emerging generation of young adults with the notion that Islam is a benign religion that is no different in its teachings of love and forgiveness than Christianity.
     Each time Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld holds a televised press conference, or President George W. Bush steps into his bully pulpit to argue the need to continue or escalate the War on Terrorism, Bush adds another nail to the box he has put himself in, or adds another tier of slats to the height of the box, which will make it even more difficult for him to extricate himself from it when the War on Terrorism becomes so expensive that even the conservative Americans who support the actions of the Bush Administration begin to weigh the personal costs against the results. The box Bush is building is his own political coffin. And, if he can’t extricate himself from it before the lid is hammered on, he will be buried in it.
     The liberal media, the liberals in Congress, and the utopian malaise behind it that has measured Bush’s War on Terrorism and is convinced that Bush has received “an eye for an eye” and needs to end his war against the Islamic terrorists before we get any closer to the midterm elections. The Democrats need the War on Terrorism to be over before the late summer political campaigning. They need to get America’s eyes off the flag and focused squarely on the balance in the savings accounts and check books—and the balance on their credit card statements. If they can get America focused on the economy and the shrinking job base in the United States, the Democrats will likely pick up one or two additional Senate and House seats, increasing their majority in the Senate and closing the gap even more in the House. If they can’t, it is likely the GOP will regain control of the Senate and expand their majority in the House.

Israel’s role in helping build the “Bush Box”
     As Bush continues to sell America on the War on Terrorism, Israel has found a degree of success in mimicking his rhetoric. If it was okay forAmerica to go after terrorists anywhere in the world for killing Americans on American soil, why is it not okay for Israel to go after Palestinian terrorists on Israeli soil for killing Jews on Jewish soil? Clearly, the world could not applaud America’s fight against global terrorism and chastise Israel for protecting its people from the same terrorists.
     It was a logic that Bush could not argue against—at least publicly.
     Publicly Bush has been forced to defend Israel’s right to protect itself against terrorism.
     Privately, to keep the Sauds firmly in the American camp, the Bush Administration pressured Ariel Sharon to negotiate with Yassar Arafat even as Arafat’s terrorists continued their war of terrorism not only on Israeli political figures but on innocent Jewish women and children not only on the Gaza Strip, but in Hebron, in Jerusalem and elsewhere in Israel, forcing Sharon to crack down on the Palestinians even more. Even more, the Bush State Department is pressuring Israel to use non-lethal means when it retaliates against the Palestinians who continue to kill innocent Jews on a daily basis simply because the Jews are Jews.

The Saudi Role
     As the Israeli Knesset enacted one emergency edict after another to protect its population from not only the threat from Yassar Arafat’s Palestinian Liberation Front but Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists from Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, and Egypt as well, the Saudis pressured the Bush White House to “play that more active role in the Mideast peace process.” It was Bush’s secret August 26 “understanding” with Crown Prince Abdullah that led to the visit of Saudi King Fahd’s nephew Prince Al-Walid bin Abdul Aziz to New York on October 11, 2001 ostensibly to visit the site of the World Trade Center disaster. During a photo op with then New York mayor Rudy Giuliani the prince gave Giuliani a check for $10 million. As Prince Al-Walid passed the check to Giuliani, his emissaries passed out a press release to the media. The press release said: “At times like this one we must address some of the issues that led to such a criminal attack. I believe the government of the United States of America should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause. The official Saudi position is that the jihad against the United States was triggered by America’s ‘ill-advised’ support of Israel’s terrorism against the helpless Palestinian people.” What Prince Al-Walid was saying between the lines was that since Israel is the natural enemy of the Muslims, anyone who helps the Jews is also an enemy and should expect nothing less than America received. And, while then Mayor Giuliani, who was oblivious of the Bush/Abdullah understanding, returned the $10 million check to the Saudi government Al-Walid’s rhetoric was not lost on the Bush national security team. Another slat had just been added to the box that Bush was building around his own presidency.
     Even before the first rockets were fired at the Taliban in Afghanistan the Al-Sauds warned the Bush Administration that the Islamic mullahs and Wahhabis clerics would issue a fatwa against the Saudi royal family if America launched an attack against any Islamic nation and the Sauds were politically aligned with America. Without regard for the political alliance that Bush had pledged to sacrifice Israel over on August 26, America launched an all-out rocket and bomb assault on the Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan as a blind 80-year old Muslim cleric, Sheikh Hamoud bin Oqla al-Shuaibi issued the first of several death warrants on the Saudi royal family.
     Angered, a senior Saudi official told the American media that when the conflict in Afghanistan is concluded his government would likely ask the United States to close down its airbase in Saudi Arabia. White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card acknowledged in an interview with CNN that the Saudis had informed the Bush Administration that the Sauds were interested in “...reducing American footprints in Saudi [sand].”
     As the Bush Administration, the Clinton Administration, and the first Bush Administration knew all too well, Saudi Arabia like all of the other Arabian peninsula Gulf States (except Israel) are Islamic. Some are Sunni, the others are Shi’ite. But, they are all Islamic fundamentalists. As such, based on the tenets of the Koran, they are obligated to kill the Jews and destroy Israel. Further, any non-Jew who comes to the aid of Israel must be viewed by the Islamic loyalist as an infidel and, according to the Koran, that person, or that group of people, must likewise be killed. When a Muslim aids the infidel, the Muslim must also be killed.
     When President George H.W. Bush put together his Desert Storm coalition, most Americans still do not realize the impossibility of the task he accomplished—nor do most know, or care, that when the Saudis allowed the American military to establish a presence on sovereign Saudi soil, Sheikh Oqla issued a fatwa not only on King Fahd and Crown Prince Abdullah, but on every member of the al Saud royal family. (A fatwa is a “holy” assassination order. Muslims believe that any Islamic who carries out a fatwa will go to Heaven, just as Muslim suicide bombers believe they will go to Heaven for killing Jews.)
     Backing the United States during the Gulf War, and backing the American position in Afghanistan did not come without risks to the Saudi royal family since each knew that at any moment a Muslim extremist might pop up from anywhere and, without any regard for their own lives, kill them. The Sauds believed that, like Desert Storm, when America freed Afghanistan from the Taliban and captured or killed Osama bin Laden, the War on Terrorism would effectively be over and Bush would be hard-pressed to keep the momentum alive long enough to pursue the war into the Gulf States.

The Axis of Evil
     The Saudi royal family knows if Bush attempts to pursue the War on Terrorism into the Gulf States region it is likely they will be overthrown by Muslim extremists. Since the Bush Administration knows that several terrorist organizations are trying to buy weapons of mass destruction that can be used against the United States, Bush also knows that America will not be safe until every terrorist group and the state sponsors of terrorism are eradicated from the face of the Earth.
     Playing “cowboy” once again as he did when he announced that he wanted Osama bin Laden “dead or alive,” Bush named three rogue nations who are currently attempting to create weapons of mass destruction that can be used against America. He called them the “Axis of Evil.” Iraq, Iran and North Korea. Bush announced that he would immediately go after Iraq and Iran, implying that he would “take them out” together. The Sauds reacted immediately, and even before the ink was dry on the headlines, England announced it would not pursue Osama bin Laden into the Mideast. British Prime Minister Tony Blair, forced to back down, inadvertently nailed another slat in the box that was now growing taller by the day around the young American president. Blair was facing a tough election of his own, one that would focus on England’s entrance into the European Union. And, like most liberals, domestic issues were Blair’s strong suit and he wanted to campaign on familiar turf.
     Understanding the very nebulous nature of the thin thread of cooperation between Bush and Crown Prince Abdullah, the backers of terrorism in the Gulf knew that all they had to do to get the Sauds to throw in the towel was provoke the Jews enough for Israel to escalate its action against the Palestinians. Both Yassar Arafat and Ariel Sharon picked up their hammers and began to add new slats to the box around Bush. Pretty soon the box would be all but impregnable. Once it was reinforced by the Democrats, George W. Bush would not be able to escape and, war hero or not, he would be hard pressed to campaign effectively for re-election.
     Once he was labeled as part of the Axis of Evil, Saddam Hussein knew the likelihood of Iraq being revisited by Stealth Fighter-Bombers in the near future was pretty good. Immediately his emissaries were visiting Tehran. Iran, the ancient enemy of Iraq, pledged to join its neighbor if the infidels from the United States visited Baghdad. While he was not included in the Axis, Bashar Assad of Syria knew that the NSA, the CIA, the FBI and the DIA all knew that he was as much a sponsor of terrorism as Iraq. If Bush was successful against Iraq and Iran—as he believed America would be—then it was only a matter of time before smart bombs were knocking on doors in Damascus.
     The key to stopping Bush would be found in Riyadh. Saddam Hussein and Bashar Assad needed to pull the Saudi welcome mat out from under Bush and force the Saudi royal family to withdraw the “key to the gulf” from the United States.
     The task would be easy enough. First, the Gulf “axis of evil”—Iraq, Iran and Syria—needed to get more guns into the hands of Yassar Arafat’s Palestinian terrorists; and Arafat needed to escalate violence against the Jews. This would force the Jews to retaliate more severely against the Palestinians. With enough Palestinian blood spilled on the desert sands, Saudi Arabia would be forced to renounce its allegiance to the United States. Once that happened, the Muslim world could wage a successful Jihad against the United States. As terrorism escalated in Israel the Bush State Department tried, in vain, to keep the lid on the pressure cooker by suggesting to Ariel Sharon that America’s war on terrorism was somehow different than Israel’s. Each new escalation added a new tier of slats in the box that was now imprisoning Bush. It was reaching the point where the Bush Administration would need a ladder just to peer over the top of the box.
     After 17 months of rapidly escalating violence against the Jews, Israel struck—and struck hard—against Arafat. Political pressure was applied, once again by the Sauds on the Bush Administration to force Ariel Sharon to back off. Under the threat of the loss of Saudi support for his war on terrorism, the National Security Agency applied extreme pressure on Sharon. Sharon was left with few options. If he backed off his own war on terrorism, he would be perceived by the Jews as weak. Once the Jewish people become sufficiently disillusioned with his leadership, new elections will be called and very likely Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party would resume control of the Knesset and Netanyahu will once again become Prime Minister. Netanyahu was Israel’s 9th Prime Minister, elected in May, 1996. He was too radical for the Clinton Administration (which favored Palestinian appeasement and the creation of a formal Palestinian state on the Gaza Strip) because of his hardline anti-Palestinian stance. To get rid of him, Clinton “loaned” his top spinmeister, James Carville, to the Labor Party’s candidate Ehud Barak. Carville, who helped elect Tony Blair, convinced Israel that Barak, Israel’s most decorated soldier, would end the bloodshed in Israel without surrendering hard fought land to the Muslims. Barak, a protege of assassinated Israeli leader Yitzhak Rabin, proved to be the most leftwing prime minister ever elected. Barak’s solution to solving the Palestinian problem and creating peace was one of total surrender. Barak actually considered a UN-backed proposal to partition Jerusalem—something the Arabs have demanded for since 1973.
     As Barak considered multinational control of Jerusalem, his government crashed around his ears. When his government began to topple in 1999, the Clinton spinmeisters went to work on Netanyahu to make sure that the most popular Prime Minister since David Ben Gurion would not get re-elected. Instead of Netanyahu who was accused of improprieties while in office, Shimon Peres replaced Barak, and just as quickly, Ariel Sharon replaced Peres.
     In his speech to the Jewish public on February 22, Ariel Sharon urged the Israelis to remain calm and restrained in face of terrorist violence that had grown increasing deadly over the past few weeks. In lieu of military responses to violence, Sharon proposed the creation of barricaded “buffer zones” between the Israeli and Palestinian settlements. It was the speech demanded of him by the Bush White House after a Palestinian suicide bomber walked into an Israeli supermarket wearing a belt packed with explosives and was shot to death by a woman shopper before he could detonate the explosives. On the same day, Palestinian terrorists shot and killed a 59 year old Israeli who was driving near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Leftwing opposition leader Yossi Sarid called Sharon’s speech “...embarrassing and troublesome,” yet it is the leftwing which favors precisely that type of appeasement.
     As Bush did his tightrope walk to defuse this Israeli-Palestinian situation, Saddam Hussein increased his efforts to shoot down American surveillance planes in the “No Fly Zones” over both northern and southern Iraq in an effort to force Bush to respond militarily in Iraq. The Sauds, who are also in a box not of their making, realize that if Bush persists in extending his war on terrorism into the Gulf States, they will be forced to break off diplomatic relations with the United States and side with its Arab neighbors against Israel. Another row of slats were added to the sides of the box that now engulfed George W. Bush.
     Because this is an election year, pressure will mount in the liberal media to end the War on Terrorism before it can be won. Compounding Bush’s tenuous relationship with the Sauds, Clinton National Security Advisor Sandy Berger vilified the Saudis even more by saying that since September 11 “...the veil has been lifted and the American people see a double game that they’re not terribly pleased with. They see a regime that is repressive with respect to the extremists that threaten them, but more than tolerant...to the general movement of extreme Islamics in the region.” It has never been a secret that the Sauds are Muslim. Nor is it a secret that Saudi Arabia is not a democracy. Nor is it a secret that 90% of the terrorists involved in the September 11 attack from Saudi nationalists, or that several Saudi charities have funded terrorist activity all over the world. Those are facts. Everyone knows it. George Bush knows it better than anyone else. It is, after all, our National Security Agency that uncovered most of this information. However, politics breeds strange bedfellows. Bush knows that to win the War on Terrorism he needs the support of the Saudi government.
     On the other hand, the Democrats in both the House and Senate know that for them to win the political war that is brewing this fall, and gain the seats they need to control the political agenda of the nation, they Bush’s War on Terrorism to be over by June or July—hopefully without a satisfactory conclusion. If Osama bin Laden is caught or killed before the election season opens up, George W. Bush will be too popular to beat. And, Bush’s battlefield victories will carry over into his domestic agenda. Traditionally Democratic issues—like Social Security, Medicare, and education, will become GOP issues and the Democrats will lack the impetus to win any additional Congressional seats this fall. In fact, they will likely lose control of the Senate and wil lalso lose three or four additional House seats.
     If some dramatic “win” does not happen in the War on Terrorism by August, Bush will lose momentum that will affect his domestic agenda credibility and the Democrats will gain at least two Senate seats and could also regain control of the house. If that happens, then Bush will face a tough re-election campaign in 2004. Bush’s father, who came out of a heroic war effort with a 91% popularity rating in March, 1992 became vulnerable when the statesman, not the warrior, was forced to run for re-election.
     The same thing could happen to his son.
     And, that is precisely what Bill and Hillary Clinton hope will happen.

 

 

Just Say No
Copyright 2009 Jon Christian Ryter.
All rights reserved
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