Monday, June 19, 2006

The Enemy of My Enemy is Not Always My Friend

For the past three years, I have watched in utter amazement as the U.S. government insists that Saudi Arabia is a sincere ally in the global war against terrorism. Is it naïveté, willful blindness or diplomatic babble, I am not sure. But this assertion is made despite the fact that for the past three years, the U.S. Commission on Religious Freedom has cited Saudi Arabia as the world's top violator of religious liberty. The commission's report consistently states that freedom of religion does not exist in Saudi Arabia except for those practicing an extreme form of Sunni Islam known as Wahhabism (the very form of Islam that is behind the acts of al Qaida and other violently militaristic Islamist groups in recent years). President Bush can declare all he likes (as he frequently does) that the only faith that Islamist suicide bombers and terrorists have is that of hate. But such declarations do not respect the declared Islamic convictions of those responsible for acts of terror, destruction, and religious persecution.

I applaud the U.S. government's desire to make the world a safe place. But as long as they ignore the fact that Saudi Arabia provides the religious environment that not only makes such atrocities possible but inevitable, this is a war that they simply will not win.

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