Tuesday, August 06, 2002

The Case Against Saudi Arabia

Today Tom Ricks of The Washington Post again demonstrates why he is the best reporter on the Defense Department beat. Not only is he an excellent writer but he has most relevant contacts throughout the national security industry. That combination enables him to make a Page One case for Saudi Arabia's admission to the Axis of Evil.

In the course of his reporting on a confidential briefing before the Defense Policy Board, Ricks catalogs the repugnant behavior of our Gulf "ally" and articulates what is likely to be the prevailing strategy driving the Bush Administrations actions in the Middle East -- regime change in Iraq, diminished market share for Saudi petroleum, and confrontation with Saudi kleptocrats over their support of Islamofascists.

This strategy is likely to prevail because it was developed and is being driven by the smartest people in the defense community including Professor Eliot Cohen of SAIS, Richard Perle, and the staff of Vice President Cheney.

The force of their influence and the lack of any coherent alternative strategy means that what Ricks reports today is the most plausible glimpse of the future we have at the moment.

It will be interesting to see what Arab News makes of all this.

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