From Qatar, we now move to Saudi Arabia. Last night and this morning, the cable news networks were abuzz with discussions of a report in yesterday’s Washington Post. It detailed a briefing given last month to a top Pentagon advisory board describing Saudi Arabia as an enemy of the United States. It recommended that U.S. officials give Saudi Arabia an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States.
The briefing runs counter to the present stance of the U.S. government that Saudi Arabia is a major ally in the region. Yet it also represents a point of view that has growing currency within the Bush administration — especially on the staff of Vice President Cheney and in the Pentagon’s civilian leadership — and among neo-conservative writers and thinkers closely allied with administration policymakers. The leaking of the details of the briefing sparked these remarks by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
- Donald Rumsfeld at press briefing.
- Lamis Andoni, independent journalist who writes frequently for al-Hayyat and Aharam Weekly. Next year she will be teaching a course on the so called “War on Terrorism” at UC Berkeley. She covered the Gulf War from Baghdad for the Christian Science Monitor and the Financial Times.