May 16, 2004

HERE’S AN INTERESTING SPEECH ON THE WAR ON TERROR by Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong of Singapore. Excerpt:

The war against terrorism could shape the 21st Century in the same way as the Cold War defined the world before the fall of the Berlin Wall. To win, we must first clearly understand what we are up against. I am grateful to the Council on Foreign Relations for the opportunity to share my views on this important subject.

Terrorism is a generic term. Terrorist organisations such as the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or ETA in Spain are only of local concern. The virulent strain of Islamic terrorism is another matter altogether. It is driven by religion. Its ideological vision is global. It is most dangerous. The communists fought to live whereas the jihadi terrorists fight to die, and live in the next world. . . .

But the threat remains. It stems from a religious ideology that is infused with an implacable hostility to all secular governments, especially the West, and in particular the US. Their followers want to recreate the Islam of 7th Century Arabia which they regard as the golden age. Their ultimate goal is to bring about a Caliphate linking all Muslim communities. Their means is jihad which they narrowly define as a holy war against all non-Muslims whom they call “infidels”.

Read the whole thing. And note this story about Saudi-funded Islamist schools promoting the violence in Thailand.

Saudi Arabia, ultimately, is the real problem. When are we going to do something about them?

UPDATE: A reader emails:

“Saudi Arabia, ultimately, is the real problem. When are we going to do something about them?”

We didn’t go after Iraq for WMDs, or primarily to free the Iraqi’s.

Everybody knows we have to cut off the flow of Saudi petrodollars to Islamic terror. But if we go after Saudi today, their oil production shuts down, the oil market melts down, the world economy crashes and millions die in the third world due to lack of fuel and fertilizer for food.

What to do? One, set up a secure base of operations for the eventual attack on Saudi (Hey, there’s a weak, easily conquerable county right next door to Saudi!) and two, secure an alternate supply of oil to temporarily substitute for Saudi oil when we do attack (Hey! The second largest oil reserve in the Middle East is in the same weak country, AND, it’s basically off the market, except for Oil-For-Food, so grabbing it won’t wreck the oil markets! A twofer!! Can’t pass this up!)

What I believe to be the ultimate Bush strategy will take years to set up (especially getting oil production online), will work (maybe even without firing a shot, once we’re set up, the Saudis will be cornered) and will accomplish the goal of cutting off the flow of oil money to terrorists without killing millions, and maybe start the Middle east on the road to democracy (but that isn’t necessary for the strategy to work).

Iraq cannot become another Vietnam, since the Iraqi resistance has no superpower sugar daddy resupplying it, unlike Vietnam. Iraqi resistance will ultimately peter out, due to lack of supplies. Saddam’s weapons caches will inevitably be used up.

Syria is boxed in, Iranians will either overthrow the mullahs themselves, cutting off Iranian terror funding, or they will get the bomb, at which point Israel will nuke them out of self preservation. If God loves Iran, the mullahs will get overthrown first.

Interesting and, I think, mostly correct. Nonetheless, we should be attacking the Saudis’ support for terror in a more immediate way.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Tom Holsinger spelled out the whole plan in 2002.

MORE: The Saudis are trying to buy protection from the French — it didn’t work for Saddam, did it?

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