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Old 12-25-2001, 03:48 AM   #1
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Saudi Arabia supported attacks against USA (ABC News Report)

Friday December 21 2001 02:52 AM EST
Bin Laden Translation Omitted Sections
By John Miller ABCNEWS.com

A new ABCNEWS translation of the Osama bin Laden videotape released last week reveals information that may be embarrassing to Saudi Arabia, a very important U.S. ally. . Bin Laden Hunt Strains U.S-Saudi Relations .
Excerpts of the Bin Laden Video Weigh In . Poll: Americans Believe Toughest Battles Ahead When the videotape of Osama bin Laden talking about the Sept. 11 terror attacks was released by the United States government on Dec. 13, administration officials spoke at length about the extensive effort to achieve a full and accurate transcript.
The translation commissioned by ABCNEWS, however, reveals new elements that raise questions about what the government left out of the official version and why.
The new translation uncovers statements that could be embarrassing to the government of Saudi Arabia, a very important U.S. ally. Bin Laden's visitor, Khalid al Harbi, a Saudi dissident, claims that he was smuggled into Afghanistan by a member of Saudi Arabia's religious police.
He also tells bin Laden that in Saudi Arabia, several prominent clerics - some with connections to the Saudi government - made speeches supporting the attacks on America. "Right at the time of the strike on America, he gave a very moving speech, Sheikh Abdulah al Baraak," bin Laden said on the tape. "And he deserves thanks for that."
Sheikh al Baraak, to whom the visitor refers, is a professor at a government university and a member of an influential council on religious law. "It shows that bin Laden's support is not limited to the radical side of Islam but also among the Saudi religious establishment," says Fawaz Gerges, professor of Middle Eastern studies at Sarah Lawrence College. "And that is bad news for Saudi Arabia."
The new translation reveals bin Laden's intimate knowledge of the hijackers themselves. Bin Laden mentions not just the ring leader Mohamed Atta but several of the hijackers by name, including the al Hazmi brothers: "So these young men, may God accept their action, Nawaf Al Hazmi, Salim Al Hazmi ."
A member of the team that translated the tape for the U.S. government said the ABCNEWS translation is consistent with portions of the government's transcript that have not been released to the public.
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Old 12-25-2001, 09:46 AM   #2
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With friends like these, who needs enemies?
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Old 12-25-2001, 04:38 PM   #3
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zzzzzzzz, almost all arabic nations are torn between the 2 sides, it's nothing really that new.
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Old 12-27-2001, 01:51 PM   #4
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No such thing as friends in politics and business: there are allies and enemies.

The U.S. government "likes" Saudi (or more precisely, its royal family) because they give us preferential access to its oil at prices far less than market value. Period.

The Saudi elites "like" the U.S. government because: 1) it uses its military power to protect Saudi oil from other local powerful regimes (primarily Iran, Iraq, and Russia); 2) it uses its intelligence apparatus to thwart potential competitors to the Saudi throne; 3) it uses its diplomatic power to prevent U.N. and other criticism of the despotic nature of the Saudi regime (e.g. Saudi has a "king", Iraq has a "dictator" in western commonspeak - but what the hell is the difference?); and 4) the U.S. provides Saudi elites the best of America - their kids attend Harvard, their relatives get their medical care at the topnotch U.S. university hospitals, etc.

Of course, Saudis not in favor of the royal family HATE the Americans for helping the royal family stay in power, suppress free speech/dissent and many other human rights, and keep the oil profits to themselves and a small elite class. For the U.S., this is usual policy - support whichever business/government interests maintain our profits, no matter who dies. The more violent elements of the Saudi dissidents misuse Islam to unite the people against the U.S. - the real reason they hate us is mostly probably economic/power-oriented - but it's easier to motivate the masses by pointing out our defilement of the holy areas in Saudi, etc. Hence the development of Al Queda, its support network, and the appearance of being "disloyal friends".

Or as Cheney put it, "energy security is national security". Saddam Hussein (who certainly does deserve the worst for other reasons) actually dared to challenge the U.S. oil structure in the Middle East by invading Kuwait. By having an army at Saudi's doorstep, that might have pressured or "destabilized" Saudi Arabia by encouraging dissident factions to mount a real rebellion. Which might have challenged or at least disrupted the U.S. oil-larceny program. Which is why Saddam is characterized as being more dangerous than Hitler by the U.S.
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Old 12-27-2001, 07:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by sv:
No such thing as friends in politics and business: there are allies and enemies.

Whatever. You know what I'm talking about.

sv, your analysis of US relations with Saudi Arabia seems pretty accurate. What do you propose we do about it?

For moral reasons, the US should stop propping up the Saudi monarchy, but alternative policies are likely to be quite dangerous. If the US simply pulled its troops out of Saudi Arabia, then Saddam Hussein might try to invade, and I think we can agree that that would be A Bad Thing. If the US turned against the Saudi monarchy and tried to import democracy to Saudi Arabia (say by supporting some indigenous popular movement), that'd probably get the deposed Saudi elites *and* the hardline Islamic terrorists pissed off at us.

It'd be nice if we could try to diplomatically persuade the Saudi monarchy to respect the human rights of its citizens, but I don't know if that's too likely to work.

Any other ideas?

(BTW, there's some scholarship at Harvard endowed by the bin Laden family.)
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Old 12-28-2001, 01:01 AM   #6
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sv's got it quite right, unfortunately it becomes a vicious circle with no easy way out.
international relations is quite a delicate issue.
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Old 12-28-2001, 08:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by CannibalisticArtist:
sv's got it quite right, unfortunately it becomes a vicious circle with no easy way out.
international relations is quite a delicate issue.
Actually, I think the easy way out is to drive electric cars.
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Old 12-29-2001, 05:00 AM   #8
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heh, you think crude oil is only used as petrol? LOL nice joke.

[This message has been edited by CannibalisticArtist (edited 12-29-2001).]
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Old 12-29-2001, 07:27 PM   #9
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Originally posted by CannibalisticArtist:
heh, you think crude oil is only used as petrol? LOL nice joke.

[This message has been edited by CannibalisticArtist (edited 12-29-2001).]
And use electric airplanes. And forego the use of plastics and vaseline.
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Old 12-29-2001, 08:02 PM   #10
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try about 90% of the whole industry.
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Old 12-29-2001, 08:10 PM   #11
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Our only way out is to jump to hydrogen fuel, which can be extracted from water. But then there's that terrible reality that American business is complacent and afraid of change--basically, they only want what assures immediate profits. Then there's the sick reality that the oil industry is trying to save itself by developing a way to create hydrogen fuel from oil. Knowing America like I do, they'll probably keep the oil companies--which are gigantic campaign contributors--happy and keep us reliant on oil for the day when hydrogen fuel becomes a reality.

Melon

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