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Posts Tagged ‘Saudi’

The Saudi Plan For Israel’s Destruction

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

      Is peace breaking out in the Middle East?

 

      The past week has been characterized by feverish diplomacy regarding the Arab-Israel conflict. The sheer scope of the meetings that have taken place – from the shuttle diplomacy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, to the conference of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt last weekend to the summit of Arab leaders in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday – one would think that peace is just a stone’s throw away.

 

      All the various meetings have centered on the so-called Arab Peace Plan, or as it is more commonly known, the Saudi initiative.

 

      Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert announced, “The Saudi initiative must be taken seriously,” and then claimed that it had “positive aspects.” Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni also warmly praised the plan. Rice has led the Bush administration in embracing the plan and applauding the Saudis for their “moderation” and their positive role in advancing the cause of peace in the region. In talks with Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Ghreit on Sunday, Rice went so far as to intimate that the U.S. now views the plan as the basis for peace making between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

      But frenetic discussions aside, there is no chance whatsoever that the Saudi initiative will bring peace to the region or end the Arab world’s conflict with Israel.

 

      The Saudi initiative was concocted in February 2002 as a public relations stunt on the part of then-crown prince and now King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. At the time, Saudi-U.S. relations were at an all-time low. Fifteen of the 19 hijackers on September 11, 2001 were Saudi citizens and in the months following that act of war against America, the media exposed Saudi Arabia’s massive role in financing the global jihad through direct aid to terror groups and the establishment of jihadist mosques and schools from Pakistan to Peoria to Paris.

 

      Attempting to reassert their importance as an ally to Washington, the Saudi government wanted badly to change the subject. What better way to divert attention from their central role in the global jihad, whose forces openly called for the destruction of the U.S. and of the Western world, than by taking on the role of peacemaker in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinians?

 

      Here too, it is important to remember the context of events.

 

      In February 2002, the Saudi-financed Palestinian jihad against Israel was reaching a fever pitch. Suicide bombings had become a daily occurrence. Indeed, in March 2002, some 130 Israeli citizens were murdered in terror attacks that culminated with the Passover massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 Israelis celebrating the seder were murdered by a suicide bomber.

 

      It was at this time that Abdullah (breaking his monarchy’s law that bars Jews from entering the kingdom) invited New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman for a visit to Riyadh. During their meeting, Abdullah suggested that were Israel to return all the land it took control over in the 1967 Six-Day War, including Jerusalem, the Golan Heights, Judea, Samaria and Gaza, the Arab world would consider normalizing its relations with Israel.

 

      The next month, the Arab League convened in Beirut. The meeting took place the day after the Passover massacre (and on the same day that a conference of international terror chiefs was convening in the city). At the summit, the Arab heads of state made a number of changes to Abdullah’s offer to Friedman and then adopted it as the Arab peace plan.

 

      The plan that was announced at the time – and it has not changed in the intervening five years – involves more than Israel’s surrender of all the lands it liberated in 1967.The plan also demands that Israel accept some 4-5 million foreign-born Arabs, (otherwise known as Palestinian “refugees”) as immigrants. The Arab League’s plan stipulates that after Israel completes the withdrawals and enables these foreign, overwhelmingly hostile Arabs to immigrate, the Arab world will agree to have “regular” relations with it.

 

      Five years ago, Israel rejected the plan completely, and reasonably so. Far from a “peace plan,” it is a recipe for Israel’s destruction. Without the lands that the plan requires Israel to surrender to the Palestinians and the Syrians, Israel is incapable of defending itself from invasion. The Arab peace plan, in other words, requires that Israel render itself indefensible.

 

      Moreover, the demand that Israel allow the unimpeded immigration of millions of hostile Arabs is simply another way of saying that Israel must agree to allow itself to be overrun and so demographically destroyed.

 

      Finally, the plan’s statement that in response to these suicidal steps by Israel the Arab world will agree to have “regular” relations with it is itself meaningless because the term “regular” is an empty one.

 

      All in all, the Arab “peace” plan is nothing but a blueprint for Israel’s destruction.

 

      Given its content, it should surprise no one that the plan makes no mention of terrorism and places no demand on the Palestinians to end their terror war against Israel or on the Arab world to end its financial and other support for the Palestinian war.

 

      Then too, the plan makes no mention of holding negotiations with Israel; of ending the Arab economic boycott of Israel; or of ending the jihadist incitement that has indoctrinated the current generation of Palestinians and Muslims worldwide to seek Israel’s violent destruction.

 

      And the “peace” plan makes no mention of the possibility that the Arab world would recognize the Jewish people’s right to a state in the Land of Israel and thereupon open diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.

 

      The main question is why the Americans and Israelis are participating in this dangerous farce. As former U.S. Middle East negotiator Aaron Miller commented to The New York Times regarding Rice’s embrace of the plan, “She really has tied her personal credibility to this issue in a way that most normal political observers would say, ‘Is she nuts?

 

      The sanity of Rice and Olmert and Livni is not the issue. Rather, it is their strategic wisdom that seems to be sorely lacking. Perhaps they believe that if they are perceived as advancing the prospects of peace by clinging to the Arab plan for Israel’s destruction they will receive a needed, if momentary, boost in their popularity ratings. If that’s what’s moving them to act, it is a shame.

 

      For the simple truth is that this plan, as was the case with all the previous failed “peace” initiatives between Israel and its neighbors, places the burden for solving the Middle East’s problems on the principal victim of those problems – Israel – rather than on the Arab governments, like Saudi Arabia, that are responsible for them.

 

      Not only is the plan doomed to fail, it will cause the deaths of untold numbers of Israelis who will be killed because neither Rice nor Olmert nor Livni is honest enough to admit that Saudi Arabia is neither a moderate nor a peaceful nation.

 

      Caroline Glick is deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of each month. 

Title: Confessions of an Innocent Man: Torture and Survival in a Saudi Prison

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Title: Confessions of an Innocent Man: Torture and Survival in a Saudi Prison
Author: William Sampson
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart
 
 
    It’s hard to believe, but nearly five years have passed since 19 radical Islamists carried out the devastating terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not surprisingly, a great deal has been written about the nefarious role played by Saudi Arabia in bankrolling and fomenting anti-Western violence and instability. After all, once it became clear that 15 of the September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals, it was only natural that the secretive desert kingdom and its policy of exporting extremism would come under greater public and international scrutiny.
 
      But while Westerners now have a better idea of the threat posed by Saudi-funded fanaticism, we still know precious little about the inner workings of one of the Arab world’s most repressive and autocratic regimes.
 
      This, of course, is partly due to willful ignorance. With the U.S. and European economies heavily reliant on the crude oil that Saudi Arabia produces, many Western decision makers prefer not to ask too many questions about pesky matters such as freedom, human rights and the rule of law.
 
      Indeed, as author and former CIA Middle East operative Robert Baer has suggested, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia resembles a “dependence that’s so strong it’s almost like a narcotic.” And as he notes ruefully: “You don’t question the pusher.”
 
      But a gruesome new book by William Sampson, a Canadian engineer who also holds British citizenship, may begin to change all that. InConfessions of an Innocent Man, Sampson recounts his harrowing incarceration by Saudi officials for nearly three years on trumped-up charges of involvement in a string of bombings in Riyadh. His tale is raw and gripping, and serves as a damning indictment of Saudi Arabia and its regime, which does not hesitate to use pain, torture and wanton abuse to further its interests.
 
      Sampson, who holds a PhD in biochemistry and an MBA from Edinburgh University, arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1998 to work as a consultant on water projects for a development fund based in Riyadh. He joined the large expatriate community and went about his life and work in a diligent, if somewhat subdued, fashion. But a series of bombings targeting Westerners, most likely the work of Islamic fundamentalists or their sympathizers, sent shock waves throughout the expatriate community. Unwilling to admit they had an internal problem on their hands, the Saudi authorities looked for foreign scapegoats on whom to pin the blame. Sampson, unfortunately, fit the bill.
 
      And so, on December 17, 2000, Sampson was abducted by Saudi police, who tossed him into a car and beat him. Before he knew it, he was taken to prison and accused of masterminding the wave of attacks, as his jailers tossed aside even his most basic rights in a frenzy of violence and cruelty.
 
      Sampson was thrown into solitary confinement, deprived of sleep for days and mercilessly beaten until he passed out. Sampson’s torturers gradually turned up the physical and psychological pressure, determined to force him to confess. He struggled to hold out, not wishing to own up to something he knew to be false while afraid he would be made to implicate friends and colleagues in the imaginary plot.
 
      But after several days of hell, Sampson accepted the futility of resistance and agreed to confess to whatever his guards had in mind. He was forced to write out a long and absurd confession that his tormentors later required him to amend and re-write as they arrested other innocents and spun a wider web of fictional conspiracies.
 
      The reader can’t help but grieve with Sampson, who berates himself for “betraying” some of his fellow expatriates. Although he had little choice in the matter, he is racked by guilt at the thought that others might have suffered because of his actions.
 
      But the forced confessions do not spare Sampson from further mistreatment, which rapidly descends to new forms of depravity. Sampson is assaulted with axe handles and canes, transforming his genitals, legs and feet into painful pulps of flesh.
 
      In one of the most excruciating parts of the book, Sampson’s Saudi interrogators rape him and then compel him to consume his own excrement, adding painful insult to grievous injury.
 
      At times, the book is truly difficult to read, as it graphically describes the physical and mental agony to which Sampson was subjected. With inhuman glee, the Saudi officers inflict sadistic and ultimately pointless anguish on this brave and sensitive man. Page after page, the horror continues, seemingly without end.
 
      Western diplomats occasionally met with Sampson, but they come across as weak and entirely unconcerned about his fate, prompting his well justified scorn. Eventually, however, Sampson develops his own mechanism for coping, as he attempts to reassert an element of control – however minute – over his own life. He taunts his jailers, defying their orders and occasionally fighting back, in the process salvaging not only his sense of self, but a shred of dignity. He plays pranks on the guards, which in any other context would seem downright childish, such as making them step unwittingly in his urine. But given Sampson’s circumstances, they manage to come across as acts of defiance.
 

      In August 2003, Sampson was suddenly released in a prisoner exchange after an escalating series of bombings in Saudi Arabia made his innocence patently clear. But while a 2005 British inquest formally declared him innocent of the spurious Saudi charges, Sampson now finds himself battling the British government for the right to sue his Saudi tormentors.

      Even after what Saudi Arabia did to one of its citizens, Her Majesty’s government would rather hush the whole thing up, preferring to protect the torturers than seek justice for the tortured.
 

      Whether Sampson will prevail in his legal battle remains unclear. But one thing is certain. He has written a searing account of Saudi injustice and of Western governmental complicity. However trying it might be to read his story, Sampson’s cry for justice is one that must be heard.

Title: Confessions of an Innocent Man: Torture and Survival in a Saudi Prison

Wednesday, August 9th, 2006

Title: Confessions of an Innocent Man: Torture and Survival in a Saudi Prison
Author: William Sampson
Publisher: McClelland & Stewart

 

 

    It’s hard to believe, but nearly five years have passed since 19 radical Islamists carried out the devastating terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Not surprisingly, a great deal has been written about the nefarious role played by Saudi Arabia in bankrolling and fomenting anti-Western violence and instability. After all, once it became clear that 15 of the September 11 hijackers were Saudi nationals, it was only natural that the secretive desert kingdom and its policy of exporting extremism would come under greater public and international scrutiny.

 

      But while Westerners now have a better idea of the threat posed by Saudi-funded fanaticism, we still know precious little about the inner workings of one of the Arab world’s most repressive and autocratic regimes.

 

      This, of course, is partly due to willful ignorance. With the U.S. and European economies heavily reliant on the crude oil that Saudi Arabia produces, many Western decision makers prefer not to ask too many questions about pesky matters such as freedom, human rights and the rule of law.

 

      Indeed, as author and former CIA Middle East operative Robert Baer has suggested, America’s relationship with Saudi Arabia resembles a “dependence that’s so strong it’s almost like a narcotic.” And as he notes ruefully: “You don’t question the pusher.”

 

      But a gruesome new book by William Sampson, a Canadian engineer who also holds British citizenship, may begin to change all that. InConfessions of an Innocent Man, Sampson recounts his harrowing incarceration by Saudi officials for nearly three years on trumped-up charges of involvement in a string of bombings in Riyadh. His tale is raw and gripping, and serves as a damning indictment of Saudi Arabia and its regime, which does not hesitate to use pain, torture and wanton abuse to further its interests.

 

      Sampson, who holds a PhD in biochemistry and an MBA from Edinburgh University, arrived in Saudi Arabia in 1998 to work as a consultant on water projects for a development fund based in Riyadh. He joined the large expatriate community and went about his life and work in a diligent, if somewhat subdued, fashion. But a series of bombings targeting Westerners, most likely the work of Islamic fundamentalists or their sympathizers, sent shock waves throughout the expatriate community. Unwilling to admit they had an internal problem on their hands, the Saudi authorities looked for foreign scapegoats on whom to pin the blame. Sampson, unfortunately, fit the bill.

 

      And so, on December 17, 2000, Sampson was abducted by Saudi police, who tossed him into a car and beat him. Before he knew it, he was taken to prison and accused of masterminding the wave of attacks, as his jailers tossed aside even his most basic rights in a frenzy of violence and cruelty.

 

      Sampson was thrown into solitary confinement, deprived of sleep for days and mercilessly beaten until he passed out. Sampson’s torturers gradually turned up the physical and psychological pressure, determined to force him to confess. He struggled to hold out, not wishing to own up to something he knew to be false while afraid he would be made to implicate friends and colleagues in the imaginary plot.

 

      But after several days of hell, Sampson accepted the futility of resistance and agreed to confess to whatever his guards had in mind. He was forced to write out a long and absurd confession that his tormentors later required him to amend and re-write as they arrested other innocents and spun a wider web of fictional conspiracies.

 

      The reader can’t help but grieve with Sampson, who berates himself for “betraying” some of his fellow expatriates. Although he had little choice in the matter, he is racked by guilt at the thought that others might have suffered because of his actions.

 

      But the forced confessions do not spare Sampson from further mistreatment, which rapidly descends to new forms of depravity. Sampson is assaulted with axe handles and canes, transforming his genitals, legs and feet into painful pulps of flesh.

 

      In one of the most excruciating parts of the book, Sampson’s Saudi interrogators rape him and then compel him to consume his own excrement, adding painful insult to grievous injury.

 

      At times, the book is truly difficult to read, as it graphically describes the physical and mental agony to which Sampson was subjected. With inhuman glee, the Saudi officers inflict sadistic and ultimately pointless anguish on this brave and sensitive man. Page after page, the horror continues, seemingly without end.

 

      Western diplomats occasionally met with Sampson, but they come across as weak and entirely unconcerned about his fate, prompting his well justified scorn. Eventually, however, Sampson develops his own mechanism for coping, as he attempts to reassert an element of control – however minute – over his own life. He taunts his jailers, defying their orders and occasionally fighting back, in the process salvaging not only his sense of self, but a shred of dignity. He plays pranks on the guards, which in any other context would seem downright childish, such as making them step unwittingly in his urine. But given Sampson’s circumstances, they manage to come across as acts of defiance.

 

      In August 2003, Sampson was suddenly released in a prisoner exchange after an escalating series of bombings in Saudi Arabia made his innocence patently clear. But while a 2005 British inquest formally declared him innocent of the spurious Saudi charges, Sampson now finds himself battling the British government for the right to sue his Saudi tormentors.


      Even after what Saudi Arabia did to one of its citizens, Her Majesty’s government would rather hush the whole thing up, preferring to protect the torturers than seek justice for the tortured.

 

      Whether Sampson will prevail in his legal battle remains unclear. But one thing is certain. He has written a searing account of Saudi injustice and of Western governmental complicity. However trying it might be to read his story, Sampson’s cry for justice is one that must be heard.

The Times Is Still At It

Friday, June 20th, 2003

In its May 14 and May 18 editions, The New York Times demonstrated that its pro-Arab/anti-Israel bias continues to drive its treatment of the Middle East.

“Death In Riyadh” was the title the Times gave its May 14 editorial on the recent suicide bombings in the Saudi capital. Not murder, not killing, which would have drawn attention to
the heinousness of the deeds of the perpetrators, but the more neutral death, which points to the victims.

“The attacks,” the Times went on to say,  were aimed at several compounds that house
Westerners working in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. Within the walls of the compounds, non-Muslims are able to replicate something akin to the lifestyles they had back home…. But Islamic fundamentalists have always been affronted by the enclaves, and for terrorists, the compounds serve as a handy symbol of the modern western culture they despise….

Many in the Western world will always view the tragedy as being about America, but to the people who carried it out, the terrorist attack was as much about Saudi Arabia….and [the terrorists'] … anger at the Saudi government’s alliance with non-Muslim Western nations.

The Bush administration hopes to replace that story with a new one, involving democracy, economic opportunity and liberty. It would begin with a new era in Iraq, the road to peace in Israel and increasing democratization in other Arab nations. Right now, with chaos in Baghdad and foot- dragging by Israel, that path looks treacherous. But it is the best current chance
for a way out, toward a future in which suicide attacks on innocent civilians will be understood by Muslims around the world not as a form of political protest, but as utter insanity. [Italics added.]

So for the Times, the answer to fundamentalist Arab terrorists who target the civilized world lies in understanding what upsets them and removing the irritants. Maybe then they will be induced to stop killing people. President Bush’s Operation Iraqi Freedom was misguided and counterproductive and Israel’s insistence that the Palestinians stop murdering its citizens is an
impediment to peace.

Last Sunday, on the eve of what was supposed to be the summit meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon to discuss the “road map,” the Times carried a story on the front page of its “Week in Review” section about MK Benny Elon’s vision of a Palestinian state in Jordan, that is, without the West Bank. Elon’s vision is not, publicly at least, supported by most Israelis, and Prime Minister Sharon has stated that he accepts the notion of a Palestinian state that includes at least part of the West Bank. Yet Elon is identified as a minister in Mr. Sharon’s government and the latter is speculated to be mulling over the possibilities of Elon’s plan, given the support such an approach would draw from the Christian Right, an important constituency of Mr. Bush’s.

Was it mere happenstance that the Times was giving such prominence to a story that could not
but put into question Israel’s credibility with President Bush? We think not. As is apparent from the layout of the front page of the “Week in Review” section (see accompanying photo), the Times went to what has to be an unprecedented length to attach significance to the story. How else to explain why the empty space on the page above the article is almost three times that allotted to the article itself?

Bravo, Mr. Mayor

Friday, November 16th, 2001

Once again, Rudy Giuliani has demonstrated why his tenure as Mayor of New York these past years marked a transformation of our city. There are those who say that he should have accepted the $10 million for the World Trade Center victims fund from that Saudi prince who accompanied his check with the advice that the United States “should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause. Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of the Israelis while the world turns the other cheek.” They said the Mayor should just have issued a disclaimer.

However, in typical Rudy style, the Mayor, getting to the heart of the matter said, upon rejecting the money, that this sort of thinking “is part of the problem… There is no moral equivalent to this attack. There is no justification for it… To suggest that there is any justification for it only invites this happening in the future.”

Of course, the Mayor was right. Taking the money would ineluctably serve to give credence both to the prince's substantive remarks and to the notion there is some political dimension to what happened. And, as the Mayor said, this could only encourage other such terrorist outrages. Thus, in no way was he going to allow the $10,000,000 to buy identification with the solution.

The Mayor's principled and clearheaded stance stands in stark contrast to what some in the State Department are saying. We were dismayed to read that a spokesman, Richard Boucher, drew this distinction:

Essentially, there are, on some planes, two different things. One is that there are violent people trying to destroy societies, ours, many others in the world. The world recognizes that and we are going to stop those people. On the other hand, there are issues and violence and political issues that need to be resolved in the Middle East, Israelis and Palestinians…. They are clearly issues that are different.

Can such talk have any other effect than to embolden the worldwide terrorist enterprise and encourage Osama bin Laden's allies to commit violence against America's closest ally?

Spanking The Saudis

Wednesday, November 14th, 2001

The Monitor will return next week to compiling some of the more outrageous anti-U.S. and anti-Israel statements made by prominent leftists in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist atrocities. This week, however, attention must be paid to a welcome and long overdue media phenomenon: the roughing up, by an array of pundits who have replaced their rubber gloves with brass knuckles, of the always duplicitous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The double-dealing House of Saud has, of course, been kowtowed to for decades by a series of American administrations, both Democratic and Republican, despite the fact that the U.S. stands as the Saudi royal family’s ultimate guarantor of survival and likely saved the billionaire sheiks from an Iraqi takeover in 1991.

Now it?s the George W. Bush administration’s turn to get all squishy in the knees about the Saudis, and it?s impossible not to wince whenever the otherwise impressive Condoleezza Rice or the vastly overrated Colin Powell prattles on about the close and invaluable relationship enjoyed by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

But media patience has worn thin with the charade of the good and friendly Saudis, and in the past week we’ve seen the Saudis taken to task in an uncharacteristically strongly-worded New York Times editorial and an equally sharp piece by whoever it is who’s been writing Thomas Friedman’s columns for the past seven or eight months (it can’t possibly be the real Tom Friedman writing under the Friedman byline – this one’s been making too much sense).

Nor have the political magazines been quiet: The Weekly Standard contributed its take on the subject in late September with an article by Stephen Schwartz titled “Saudi Friends, Saudi Foes: Is Our Arab Ally Part of the Problem?” and last week The New Republic chimed in with a tough look at the Saudis by Joshua Teitelbaum, “Deserted: Why Riyadh Stiffs America.”

But the knockout punch is delivered in the Oct. 22 number of The New Yorker, where investigative journalist Seymour Hersh has at the Saudis, not with the aforementioned brass knuckles but with a veritable blowtorch.

While the Monitor has in the past taken issue with Hersh, a man of pronounced left-wing leanings whose tendency it is to interpret the information he’s uncovered in a manner conforming to his ideological beliefs, there can be no denying the man’s unparalleled muckraking skills. And what he’s learned about the Saudis should inspire second thoughts even among the striped-pants brigade at the State Department (though it’s probably assuming too much to credit the occupants of that hidebound institution with very many first thoughts, let alone second).

“Since 1994 or earlier, the National Security Agency has been collecting electronic intercepts of conversations between members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, which is headed by King Fahd,” Hersh writes. “The intercepts depict a regime increasingly corrupt…and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channeling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it.”

Intelligence analysts know from those intercepts, Hersh continues, “that by 1996 Saudi money was supporting Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda and other extremist groups in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen and Central Asia, and throughout the Persian Gulf region.”

“The Saudi Regime,” Hersh quotes an American intelligence official, “has gone to the dark side.”

Hersh reports that his sources described an unstable Saudi regime (King Fahd suffered a severe stroke in 1995 and retains power due purely what Hersh describes as a “bitter family power struggle”), whose oil reserves are vulnerable to terrorist attack, “as the most immediate threat to American economic and political interests in the Middle East.”

But as the same officials told Hersh, “the Bush administration, like the Clinton administration, is refusing to confront this reality, even in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks.”

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/media-monitor-17/2001/11/14/

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