June 01, 2004



In Saudi Arabia, Islamic terrorists systematically hunted and executed Westerner oil workers for being "infidels" and "crusaders" in the Holy Kingdom. Saudi Arabia's leaders finally realized that their own Islamic fundamentalism had spawned a threat to themselves and their oil customers, and rushed to launch an effort to secularize the government and hunt down all Islamist terrorists and their supporters...

No, of course, they didn't: Saudis rush to assure the world that oil production is okay.

Saudi Arabia's leaders rushed to assure the world they were in full control, hours before global markets pass judgment on Tuesday on a suspected al Qaeda attack on their oil industry.

Many oil sector analysts said the militants' shooting and hostage-taking rampage at the weekend in the world's biggest oil exporter, in which 22 people were killed, could push fuel prices higher.[...]

Arab countries joined in the condemnation [of the attacks] and many will be at an OPEC meeting later this week at which Saudi Arabia is proposing production increases to help ease present high oil prices that threaten to stunt global economic growth. State-owned oil company Saudi Aramco has vowed to keep supplies flowing smoothly.

As for the "militants," it's reported that Saudi security forces 'allowed the killers to escape'. (Via LGF)

SAUDI authorities struck a deal with al Qaeda hostage-takers which led to three of them escaping, it was claimed yesterday. Checkpoints set up across Saudi Arabia also failed to trace three Islamic militants who went on the run following Saturday's attacks in the eastern oil city of al Khobar. The allegation of collusion involving Saudi Arabian security forces emerged amid fears that the latest terrorist outrage in the country may have a knock-on effect on the global economy by sparking further rises in oil prices.

Now there's some crack anti-terrorism tactics for you. Where's the cry of "No Blood for Oil" when you really need it?

UPDATE: From Victor Davis Hanson: Appeasing al-Qa'ida will only encourage militants (Via LGF)

Much of the West's problem in the Middle East has been the false dichotomy between authoritarian regimes and their Islamo-fascist critics, who sometimes work conjointly against the West, while on other occasions turning on each other.

The Saudi royals, like most autocracies in Jordan, Egypt and Syria, play a tired game well known in the West. To ameliorate increasing misery among the populace (unemployment in Saudi Arabia is more than 40 per cent while $US800billion [$1.1trillion] is held by the royal family outside the country), few Arab regimes embark on liberalisation, constitutional government, open markets, free speech, sexual equality or religious tolerance.

Instead, popular frustration in state-controlled media is carefully filtered and directed against the US and Israel -- as if those in New York or Tel Aviv can explain why Saudi jobs are scarce or Egyptian water undrinkable. Direct aid to Islamic "charities", funding of hate-spewing madrassas and subsidising firebrand clerics were the old Danegeld that Saudi elites meted out to turn bin Laden's fury against us. And such triangulation worked, if we remember that 15 Saudi suicide killers struck on September 11, 2001 -- and earned smug, though private, smiles among many in the kingdom.

But feeding monsters is dangerous.

Posted by Forkum at June 1, 2004 12:56 AM