Sunday, May 30, 2004

Billmon's Trenchant Point The last day in Saudi Arabia and actions within it lead Billmon (back from hiatus) to raise a most trenchant point. Why does Al Qaeda go after PEOPLE in Saudi Arabia, when the real way to hurt the House of Saud, and truly hurt America and the "decadent infidel" West would be to attack the river of gold, the oil production and transportation facilities? He raises three alternatives:
So why is Al Qaeda still fooling around with these attacks on foreign workers? Is it because they don't want to alienate Saudi popular opinion by destroying the goose that lays the petroleum eggs? Are they hoping to inherit the oil infrastructure intact once they take power? Do they have a implicit deal with the royal family (or some faction within it) to limit their attacks to the infidel devils and leave the valuable stuff alone? I could see the House of Saud offering such a deal (and trusting that the clueless Americans will never find out about it), but what motive would Al Qaeda have for abiding by it?
I believe that reason number 3 is the most likely answer, and as for what Al Qaeda gets out of it? If one judges by 9/11 -- recruits, and if we are ever to unveil all of the financial underworks, undoubtedly an awful lot of that oil wealth is siphoned off and laundered into the various pockets of terrorists around the globe being trained to engage in havoc, and in a virtual terrorist e-bay of bidding for whatever spare Russian or North Korean nuclear device the can obtain. Think about it, oil dependency is not only a major cause of us being over there, but may also be the source of financing to our own destruction.
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