Date: Mon, 8 Jul 1996 16:30:41 GMT
Sender: Activists Mailing List <ACTIV-L@MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU>

The American Base in Arabia known as "Saudi"

Mark Bruzonsky in Washington. 8 July, 1996

"Saudi" Arabia is more and more a U.S. military base in the Middle East, in addition to its role of oil cow and petrodollar recycler. Those who benefit are primarily Americans, Royal Saudis, and those willing to get in bed with the two. Those who suffer are the people of Saudi Arabia who live in a police-state and whose standard of living, amazingly, has not only fallen dramatically in recent years but is now less than that of the Israelis. The mismanagement of "Saudi" Arabia by the Saud family is a tale of curruption and deceit of epoch proportions.

These simple realities are rarely commented upon in the American and Western press. A few years ago, when one well-known investigative journalist, Scott Armstrong, attempted to report the long road to turning Saudi Arabia into a huge American military facility major news outlets -- including THE WASHINGTON POST he had previously published with -- refused. His article instead appeared on the cover of MOTHER JONES where few to this day are aware of its importance.

"A DECADE OF DECEPTION" MOTHER JONES titled the cover article in November 1991 with a huge all-cover headline: "The $200 Billion Secret: Three presidents and two kings -- out of view of the Congress, the press, and the public -- created a covert network of superbases in Saudi Arabia. Last January, Bush decided to use it."

The bombing earlier this week in Arabia is one is a chain of consequences and counter-reactions brought about in the region -- from Algeria in the West to Pakistan in the East -- by the imperialist policies of the United States and its major regional ally, Israel.

Moreover, another largely unknown story is how the Saudis and the Israelis, especially their lobbies in Washington, more than a decade ago began working together and now closely coordinate their affairs -- all behind the scenes of course. Saudi Ambassador Prince Bandar launched this policy in the early 80s when he first made contact with the Israeli lobby, and then actually became close friends with a number of key persons including Martin Indyke (now the U.S. Ambassador in Israel). And at least since the Gulf War Bandar has worked very closely with the Israelis hoping to have their help in propping up (and maybe one day saving if necessary) the despotic family regime he was born into as the son of a slave mother.

It should also be remembered, of course, that the Saudis have bought up major press sources and control in one way or another various organizations. Paul Findley's CNI, a laughable "lobby" that has fortunately been a total failure (except for terribly misleading many good people and turning their money into waste products), was nevertheless started by royal Saudi money in the neighborhood of a million dollars. For English-speaking intellectuals and Mid-East experts, the Saudis and Kuwaitis have always been the main force behind MIDDLE EAST INTERNATIONAL in London. And for those in the U.S., including alot of misguided activists, the Saudis and friends have always been the hands pulling the strings of THE WASHINGTON REPORT ON MIDDLE EAST AFFAIRS and the former State Department Arabists who have spent their lives doing what they are told and paid to do.

Of course this all goes back to the American take-over of the Middle East after World War II; and the famous high-seas meeting of President Rossevelt with Ibn Saud. And there's much more to be said about this American-Saudi connection; Prince Bandar's duplicity in Washington; Saudi control of the media and sprinking of money and rewards to a variety of Mid-East personalities -- but few places to get the information in print or on TV where it counts. The following article by David Hirst, from THE GUARDIAN in London, offers some useful perspective on the current bombing.

Mark Bruzonsky in Washington


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