Bandar Bush

Steven den Beste asks the question why Prince Bandar remains the ambassador to the US, given that it's long overdue (in his estimation) for the Bush Administration ot get tough with the Saudis.

The reason is that Bandar and the Saud dynasty have very close business and personal relations with former President Bush. A reprint from the March 24, 2003 edition of The New Yorker explains how Bandar is consdered almost family to Bush Sr. A reprint from the April 19th 2003 edition of the National Post, also details the relationship between Bandar and the former President and First Lady[1]. Finally, a March 5th 2001 (note: before 9-11) story in the New York Times about the Carlyle group links between the Saud and Bush families.

I should make it clear here that I do NOT believe in any idiotic conspiracy theories. The basic point which is supported by facts in these articles, among numerous others, is that the Bush business-dynasty is a powerful player in the international market, especially in the oil sector[2]. Bush Sr. is a member of the Carlyle group, which is a powerhouse consortium including the Bin Laden family. The ruling Saud family is heavily indebted to the bin Laden family fo rmaintaining their tenous control over the Kingdom, and the health of the Saud family is critical to the financial interests of the Carlyle group, and Bandar acts as a lubrication to the entire mechanism.[3]

The presence of Bandar in Washington is essentially a no-brainer, as is the decision to evacuate the bin Laden family members in the United States after 9-11 during the aviation blackout. I'm not justifying these decisions but I am explaining why they occurred, and I think it's rather obvious why they make sense from their perspective.

However, one critique I am willing to make is the notion that the current President Bush was eer capable of acing as an independent executor of the War on Terror. There is a large blind spot when it comes to Saudi Arabia. Ultimately, Steven's arguments about the real why behind the war on Iraq notwithstanding, the real reason we are there is because the current President was willing, and even desperate, to find an outlet for pursuing the War on Terror without antagonizing the relationship between his family and the Sauds. The neocon promises of war-on-the-cheap and domino effects was seductive. Now that the war has proven non-negligible an investment, Bush seems genuinely conflicted about how best to proceed, hence the complete policy disorientation in Falluja.

With the revelations of the Iraqi POW torture, rape, and murders, and the selection of a former Republican Guard general as the face of security in Falluja, the cognitive dissonance between President Bush's liberation rhetoric and the facts on the ground is overwhelming to even his most ardent supporters. But the truth is that there is no controlling intent and vision behind this war, and never was (apart from hoping Wolfowitz's insanely rosy post-war scenarios would magically come to pass). All we have now is a President who wants the problem to go away, and make the public forget it exists until after the election.

[1] and the Saud royal family as a whole.
[2] oil is cheaper to buy than to invade countries for, so let's dismiss any hint of the absurd notion that both Gulf Wars were about oil.
[3] Note that the business relationships operate perfectly smoothly even when there was no Bush family member in power in US government. Hence we can dispense with the abusrd notion that the Executive Branch is just a branch office of Carlyle. In fact, large corporate interests like Carlyle do NOT like wars in the heartland of their revenue resources.

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