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Posts Tagged ‘saudis’

Was our consulate attacked with our own weapons?

Posted by Richard on October 2, 2012

In 2011, President Obama ordered the Libyan rebels to be supplied with arms, including anti-tank rockets and mortars. The Saudis were apparently persuaded to act as go-betweens, actually delivering the US-supplied weapons. This was done even though the Obama administration must have known that many of those rebels, including their commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj, were radical Islamist jihadis with ties to al Qaeda (emphasis added):

… Through the 1990s, as leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, Belhadj fought Qadhafi’s forces, plotting twice to assassinate him. When it got too hot in Libya, he moved to Sudan, working with al-Qaeda as a guest of Osama bin Laden and then returned to Afghanistan in 1998. He spent the next few years in Jalalabad, directing funds and arms for al-Qaeda training camps before he was arrested by the CIA and MI-6 in 2002. Belhadj was then, according to a lawsuit he filed against the British government, tortured brutally before being bundled on to a plane along with his pregnant wife and handed over to Qadhafi. Eventually, as part of Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s “de-radicalisation” programme, Belhadj and other associates were freed in 2010. Within a year, he had become the commander of the Transitional National Council (TNC) rebel force.

That the U.S. cooperated with Belhadj and others like him to oust Qadhafi speaks volumes either of its broad-mindedness or its naiveté. Even as the British, French and U.S. intelligence services armed the rebels, they turned a blind eye to the troubling ideological differences they had with the forces fighting Qadhafi — from links with al-Qaeda in the Maghrib, to avowals of the harsh Sharia law they planned to implement in Libya, to the human rights violations by TNC units. Of equal concern should have been the domination of different parts of post-Qadhafi Libya by lawless militias answerable to none.

Instead, NATO leaders proclaimed themselves satisfied that the ends in Libya had been met, a brutal dictator was finished, and that was that. Until a year later, when heavily armed men launched a deadly assault on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Shades of “Fast and Furious.” Was  the US consulate attacked, and Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans killed, by al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadis using US-supplied rockets, mortars, and small arms?

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Saudi clerics combat Islamist extremism — sort of

Posted by Richard on June 16, 2012

Steven Miller of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies posted some interesting information from a 2011 study the foundation commissioned to collect and analyze what Saudi clerics are saying online. It’s at best a mixed bag.

To a large extent, the campaign to undercut al Qaeda in Saudi religious discourse appears to have worked, according to the FDD study. Calls for violence accounted for just a small portion of the total content of the social media data — only 5 percent.

You knew there was a “but” coming, didn’t you?

But apparent success of the Saudi campaign, as suggested by the data above, obfuscates a key point: the clerics do not condemn jihad per se, just al Qaeda’s jihad.

The Grand Mufti, highest Saudi religious authority, teaches that individuals should wage jihad against the infidels only when told to do so by the royal family. Other clerics still teach that “jihad means fighting the infidels” (not some self-improvement quest, as the propagandists at CAIR and their sympathizers claim) “until they become Muslim or agree to live under Muslim protection,” and that waging jihad or supporting those who do so is the duty of Muslims.

The bottom line:

The data from the FDD study suggests that the Saudi government’s efforts to restrict or reduce the amount of militant online content have been somewhat effective. This indicates that when the Saudis are sufficiently motivated, they can temper the radicalism that has long percolated in the kingdom. But the data also shows that the Saudi campaign has not been able to eliminate radicalism, even, and perhaps most significantly, at the highest levels of the Saudi religious establishment.

For some reason, I’m not surprised.

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Iran thinks Israeli attack is imminent — with Saudi help

Posted by Richard on June 27, 2010

Take this with a whole shaker-full of salt. The original source is Iran's state-controlled media, which has about the same credibility as the late, lamented Weekly World News (supermarket checkout lines just haven't been as much fun since that rag died). IsraelNationalNews.com reported:

The Israeli Air Force recently unloaded military equipment at a Saudi Arabia base, a semi-official Iranian news agency claimed Wednesday, while a large American force has massed in Azerbaijan, which is on the northwest border of Iran.

Iran’s Fars News Agency said the Israeli military aircraft landed 10 days ago at the Saudi base near the city of Tabuk, located in northwest Saudi Arabia, one of the closest areas in the oil kingdom to Iran.

Fars said that the Tabuk base will be the central station for an Israeli attack on Iran. It quoted an Islamic news site that a commercial airline passenger said the airport in Tabuk was closed to all other traffic during the alleged Israeli landings.

It gets even better: 

Iran’s government-funded Press TV reported that the Revolutionary Guards began closely patrolling the Islamic Republic’s northwestern border after noticing the American forces, which Iran claimed also included Israeli troops. Azerbaijan’s independent Trend news site also reported on Wednesday that American armed forces are in the country, which is in an armed conflict with rebels.

Revolutionary Guards Brigadier General Mehdi Moini said Tuesday that his forces are mobilized “due to the presence of American and Israeli forces on the western border.” The Guards reportedly have called in tanks and anti-aircraft units to the area in what amounts to a war alert.

So there you have it, for what it's worth. I don't put much stock in the Saudi story and dismiss the Azerbaijan claim entirely. But the Iranian government's view of the Saudis as allied with Israel is interesting. I've seen stories claiming that the Saudis are very concerned about Iran's regional ambitions. Apparently the mistrust and animosity runs the other way, too. Those Shi'ites and Wahabbi Sunnis are just not going to get along.

It's a shame nothing will come of it. It would be nice if these two barbaric 7th-century states came to blows and destroyed each other.

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Bowing to the Saudis

Posted by Richard on June 5, 2009

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann recalled the fuss a couple of months ago over whether President Obama bowed to King Abdullah (I think it's clear that he did, but judge for yourself) and argued that he's really bowing to the Saudis on his current Mideast trip: 

First, he is bypassing Israel. Visiting the Middle East and not going to Israel would be like touring North America and omitting a stop in the United States. It only makes sense if you interpret it as a deliberate slap in the face of Jerusalem and a statement to the Arab world that America's pro-Israeli policy is changing.

But as he goes to Saudi Arabia, the United States State Department, headed by Mrs. Hillary Clinton, has announced that it has accepted the ground rules for media coverage of the Obama visit to the royal family and its domain. Reporters will only be allowed to cover the actual meetings between the Saudis and Obama and will not be permitted to visit the rest of the country or report on anything else they see during the trip. Those reporters who violate these terms are subject to arrest and imprisonment by the Saudi government!!

Hillary and Obama accepted these terms.

Since when does the U.S. government act as the assistant to the Saudi monarchy in charge of controlling the media? And since when would an American president permit this shackling of the media and still proceed with the diplomatic visit without a murmur of protest?

Since when? Since Obama became president determined to appease Iran, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and all of the extremists while slighting Israel and turning his back on democracy.

Diana West found confirmation at Time magazine's Swampland blog, where Michael Scherer published the instructions he received from the State Department:

The Saudi government is permitting journalists accompanying President Obama entry into the country without a visa or the usual customs procedures.  While in Saudi Arabia, therefore, journalists are expressly prohibited from leaving the hotel or engaging in any journalistic activities outside of coverage of the POTUS visit.  Those who do so risk arrest and detention by Saudi authorities.

Disgusting.

But wait! West noted that Scherer had updated his post with the following: 

Qorvis Communications, which represents the Saudi Government in the United States, emailed reporters Monday night with an statement saying the announcement of restrictions, which was sent from the State Department, is incorrect. The Qorvis email says that the Saudi Ambassador has said journalists can get visas and will be free to go wherever they would like. I am not yet sure the source of the confusion. Will update when I know.

If that's true, it suggests that folks at the State Dept. are eagerly embracing even more dhimmitude than the Saudis have asked for. No less disgusting. (And by the way, I'm certain that most American journalists are decidedly not "free to go wherever they would like" — non-Muslims who enter Mecca or Medina can be put to death.)

But wait! Now it gets weird. I personally saw the above update on Scherer's post early this morning. I just returned to the post to link to it, and the update is gone (the original post remains). Is it just a glitch? Or did Scherer or Time determine that the Qorvis claim was questionable or false? If so, shouldn't there be another update explaining?

For that matter, isn't this kind of kowtowing to medieval autocrats worthy of being reported in the news, not just noted in a blog post that almost no one will see? 

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The example of Napier

Posted by Richard on December 13, 2006

Larry Kudlow posted a great little item from "The Week" in the 12/18 edition of National Review (it’s available at National Review Online to subscribers only). It briefly summarized the story of Colorado’s Saudi slaveholder, mentioned the State Department’s pandering to the Saudis, and contrasted that with a wonderful story of how a proper British imperialist handled a stark cultural conflict (emphasis added):

A Saudi Couple living in Aurora, Colo., were convicted of enslaving their Indonesian nanny, taking her passport, forcing her to live in the basement, and paying her less than two dollars a day. The husband, Hamaidan al-Turki, also made her a sex slave, abusing and raping her. Hamaidan’s wife plea-bargained down to 60 days in jail and $90,000 in restitution, but Hamaidan got 28 years to life. “The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors,” he told the judge. And rightly so. Justice wobbled at the end when, at the urging of the State Department, Colorado’s attorney general John Suthers flew to Riyadh to brief King Abdullah on the matter. Better to have followed the example of Sir Charles Napier, a British general in India, when local Hindus complained of a prohibition on suttee. “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: When men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”

Bravo, Sir Charles! To paraphrase Karl Hess (via Barry Goldwater), certitude in defense of liberty, justice, and civilized customs is no vice, and tolerance of barbarism is no virtue.
 

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Defending our laws against slavery

Posted by Richard on November 24, 2006

Remember Homaidan Al-Turki, the Saudi slaveholder in Colorado who was convicted this past summer? At the time, I mentioned a source that said he had ties to the Saudi royal family, and that’s apparently true. The Al-Turkis seem to be a prominent family, either related or closely connected to the house of Saud, which was quite angry about Al-Turki’s conviction and sentencing. In fact, they apparently demanded an explanation. And, naturally, the State Department did what it could to accommodate our good friends, the Saudis.

The State Department pressured Colorado’s Attorney General, John Suthers, into going to Saudi Arabia, and they paid for the trip. He was summoned before King Abdullah, Crown Prince Sultan, and members of the Al-Turki family. He had to defend our legal system, our quaint prohibition against treating women as domestic animals and sex slaves, and our "harsh" sentencing.

That’s rich — Saudis accusing us of punishing someone too harshly.

Suthers recently returned from Riyadh, and had enough sense to insist he stood his ground and didn’t pander or grovel:

"I was not there to be apologetic about anything that’s transpired, but I was there to talk about some of the cultural differences. It’s ultimately the cultural differences that lead to the concerns the Saudis have about the case," said Suthers.

According to Suthers he does not think any minds were changed, but says his mission, answering all questions about the case, was accomplished.

My guess is that State Department personnel did the pandering and groveling for him.

Your tax dollars at work, folks. Trying to soothe the ruffled feathers of 7th-century barbarians. I’m appalled.
 

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Saudi slaveholder sentenced

Posted by Richard on September 1, 2006

Hooray! Colorado’s notorious Saudi slaveholder, whose arrest and conviction I blogged about, was sentenced Thursday:

CENTENNIAL (AP) – A man convicted of sexually assaulting an Indonesian housekeeper and keeping her as a virtual slave was sentenced Thursday to 28 years to life in prison.

Homaidan Al-Turki, 37, denied the charges and blamed anti-Muslim prejudice for the case against him. He said prosecutors persuaded the housekeeper to accuse him after they failed to build a case that he was a terrorist.

Prosecutors and FBI agents said Al-Turki and his wife, Sarah Khonaizan, brought the woman to Colorado to care for their five children and to cook and clean for the family. An affidavit said she spent four years with the family in the suburban Aurora home, sleeping on a mattress on the basement floor and getting paid less than $2 a day.

Here’s the money quote from the story, though (emphasis added):

Al-Turki said he treated the woman the same way any observant Muslim family would treat a daughter.

"Your honor, I am not here to apologize, for I cannot apologize for things I did not do and for crimes I did not commit," he told the judge.

"The state has criminalized these basic Muslim behaviors. Attacking traditional Muslim behaviors was the focal point of the prosecution," he said.

That was a rare moment of openess, revealing the ugly, barbaric truth behind the civilized facade of the Saudi brand of Islam. Women are chattel, and men treat them — use them — like cows or goats.

I’m going to repeat yet again what I said last year and this past July because it can’t be said often enough:

Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and radical Islam in general should be all the evidence anyone needs to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the leftist multicultural BS about no culture being better than any other. These people still defend and practice slavery, and we’re supposed to worry that making a jihadist uncomfortable might bring us down to their level??

Yes, we had slavery in this country. And our society is still paying the price today. But look at the historical context: Slavery existed and was accepted as normal in every human society throughout history — until the 18th century, when voices in the United States and Great Britain were raised against it. Those voices spoke of liberty and natural rights and free will, and they proclaimed slavery to be a moral outrage.

In a hundred years, those ideas and moral values had swept through the Western world and made people ashamed of a practice they’d accepted for thousands of years. Those ideas and values are part of — are fundamental to — Western culture. And, by damn, it IS morally superior to the barbaric 8th-century culture that still enslaves people, that declares women property, that flays people’s flesh for dancing, that imprisons Christians for praying in their homes, that saws people’s heads off with a dull knife for being Jewish.

No, it doesn’t bother me that interrogators at Gitmo may have failed to show sufficient respect for the beliefs of their jihadist captives. It bothers me that they haven’t expressed contempt for those barbarous beliefs.
 

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Vacation in Saudi Arabia?

Posted by Richard on July 21, 2006

Dolphins swim in the Red Sea, south of Jeddah, in Saudi ArabiaI’ve had this sitting around for about a week and finally got around to finishing it: At the direction of King Abdullah, Saudi Arabia is promoting itself as a tourist destination:

Abdullah, a reformer, says his country is more than just the former home of Osama bin Laden and a breeding ground for Islamic extremism.

"He wants to show the world a different face to the kingdom, said Mishari al Thaybi, a Saudi writer and analyst for the London-based newspaper Al Sharq al Awsat.

It’s all part of a greater plan to open up the country, to show that though it is Arab and Islamic, it is also modern and moderate.

There’s much for tourists to do and see in Saudi Arabia. It’s not all just desert, you know. There’s scuba diving among the dolphins in cerulean waters. There are stunning, unspoiled coral reefs and pristine Red Sea and Persian Gulf beaches. There are verdant mountains teeming with wildlife. There are hundreds of fascinating cultural and archeological sites.

According to Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdel Aziz, the secretary-general of the Saudi tourism commission, which is licensing tour operators for non-Muslim visitors, Saudi Arabia is eager to have you come and see what it has to offer:

"It not a problem for us to open up. We just want to make sure we are doing it right," Prince Sultan said.

Umm, yeah, well… that "doing it right" part does have a few gotchas for us infidels. Don’t expect any alcohol, and don’t try to smuggle any in; I think they cut off your hand for that.

The tourism commission has prepared a multi-language booklet that explains all the rules you must abide by. Here are a few (emphasis added):

Tours by groups of both sexes will be allowed – as long as a father or brother is with any single women under 40.

"The tourists must comply with the social conducts of the kingdom, to know what’s allowed and what’s not allowed, what to wear and what not to wear," said Saad al-Kadi, adviser to Prince Sultan.

All female tourists will be required to dress according to Saudi tradition: covered from head to toe with only their face, hands and feet exposed. And in the most conservative city, the capital, Riyadh, women must wear a black robe over their clothes.

If tourists choose to travel during the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset, tourists will not be allowed to eat or drink in public during fasting hours.

One thing visitors won’t do, however, is tour Islam’s most holy sites, including the cities Mecca and Medina. They are off limits to non-Muslims.

And when they say "off limits," they mean it. I believe infidels who ignore the ban and enter Mecca or Medina are beheaded. I don’t know if the tourism commission’s booklet makes that clear. Make sure your satellite navigation system is reliable. Taking the wrong exit could get you killed.

 

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Saudi slaveholder convicted

Posted by Richard on July 2, 2006

The Saudi slaveholder I wrote about just over a year ago was convicted in state court Friday:

ARAPAHOE COUNTY – Screams and sobs filled a packed courtroom Friday when a jury found a Saudi man guilty of keeping an Indonesian woman captive in his Aurora home and sexually abusing her.

"What did he do?" one of Homaidan Al-Turki’s daughters cried repeatedly as she was carried out of the courtroom over the shoulder of a male supporter of the defendant.

Al-Turki, 37, was convicted of 12 felony counts of unlawful sexual contact with use of force, one felony count of criminal extortion and one felony count of theft. He also was found guilty of two misdemeanors: false imprisonment and conspiracy to commit false imprisonment.

The original charges included rape and kidnapping, so the jury persuaded itself to reduce those for some reason. No matter. He faces from 96 years to multiple life sentences for these convictions. In October, he’ll face federal charges of forced labor, document servitude, and harboring an illegal immigrant that should net him another life sentence or two.

Al-Turki is a grad student at the University of Colorado and either works for (according to the news reports) or owns (according to Gates of Vienna and Militant Islam Monitor) a book publishing and translation company that specializes in books about Islam with an extremist Wahhabi perspective. According to Militant Islam Monitor, he also has ties to terrorist organizations and may be related to the Saudi royal family.

The fact that Al-Turki is a believer in the only faith I know of that still defends slavery apparently came up in the trial:

The defense also argued that prosecutors were engaged in "Islamaphobia" during the trial, putting emphasis on Al-Turki’s Muslim faith rather than on facts.

Friday, the courtroom was packed with Al-Turki’s supporters, many of them with the Colorado Muslim Society.

Ah, yes, the Colorado Muslim Society — it claims to represent "moderate Islam," and the local media buy into that claim, despite overwhelming evidence that it’s a Saudi-controlled, Wahhabi Sunni organization. I’m not surprised that its members were eager to demonstrate their support for their slave-owning friend. I wonder how many others in the organization keep an Indonesian "maid" imprisoned in the basement.

Coincidentally, an Egyptian couple just pled guilty to slavery charges in California.  In my post last year, I quoted Daniel Pipes’ contention that slaveholding among Saudis in the U.S. is probably fairly common, is aggressively supported by the Saudi government, and is largely ignored by our own government. Let’s hope that these two cases signal a less craven U.S. government attitude and are just the beginning of serious efforts to put a stop to these bastards.

I’m going to repeat what I said last year because it can’t be said often enough:

Saudi Arabia, the Sudan, and radical Islam in general should be all the evidence anyone needs to demonstrate the moral bankruptcy of the leftist multicultural BS about no culture being better than any other. These people still defend and practice slavery, and we’re supposed to worry that making a jihadist uncomfortable might bring us down to their level??

Yes, we had slavery in this country. And our society is still paying the price today. But look at the historical context: Slavery existed and was accepted as normal in every human society throughout history — until the 18th century, when voices in the United States and Great Britain were raised against it. Those voices spoke of liberty and natural rights and free will, and they proclaimed slavery to be a moral outrage.

In a hundred years, those ideas and moral values had swept through the Western world and made people ashamed of a practice they’d accepted for thousands of years. Those ideas and values are part of — are fundamental to — Western culture. And, by damn, it IS morally superior to the barbaric 8th-century culture that still enslaves people, that declares women property, that flays people’s flesh for dancing, that imprisons Christians for praying in their homes, that saws people’s heads off with a dull knife for being Jewish.

No, it doesn’t bother me that interrogators at Gitmo may have failed to show sufficient respect for the beliefs of their jihadist captives. It bothers me that they haven’t expressed contempt for those barbarous beliefs.

See also: Unspeakable evil

UPDATE: Al-Turki was sentenced on August 31.
 

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What our friends in Riyadh are wishing

Posted by Richard on May 14, 2005

Un-effin’-believable. LGF noted that ArabNews is "the official English voice of the Saudi royal family" and presented their latest cartoon (click here for their full-sized version), apparently inspired by the D.C. plane scare:

Saudi wishful thinking

Notice that it says "Next time …" at the upper right.

Mr. President, the salary of this cartoonist is being paid by the folks you schmoozed with in Crawford.

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