Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Frenemy of the State

One thing that is getting glossed over in the stories about the San Bernardino terror attack is that it includes yet another connection to Saudi Arabia.  Syed Farook traveled to that country to pick up his wife--whom he had met on the internet.  Tashfeen Malik was actually a native of Pakistan--and officials are not sure when she moved to Saudi Arabia.  Her K-1 visa was issued through Saudi Arabia to join Farook as a "fiancĂ©e" in the US.

You may recall that fifteen of the nineteen 9/11 hijackers were in the US on Saudi Arabian visas.  Two were from the United Arab Emirates and there was one each from Egypt and Lebanon.  The nationality of these terror suspects usually doesn't get played up much because Saudi Arabia (and the UAE) is one of our "friends" in the Middle East.  They of course, provide us with cheap oil and military bases from which to stage our operations in the region.  In return, we provide them with a lot of money and protection from the same jihadist sects that are causing unrest in the rest of the Middle East and Central Asia.  We also turn a blind eye to what is one of the more oppressive societies in the world--with women enjoying few rights and criminal punishments that would lead to continuous protests here in the US.

And it is that society that is the breeding ground--and it appears, a portal to the US--for those who seek to bring their jihad to our country.  I would like to think that President Obama in his address to the nation between football games on Sunday issued his challenge to Muslims to combat this militant faction as a subtle hint to the Saudis and the other emirates to bring the radicals in their own countries into line.

Bernie Sanders likes to claim that addressing global climate change will somehow reduce terrorism--like ISIS and Al Qaeda are concerned about carbon emissions and are fighting to "save the planet".  In reality, moving away from a carbon-based global economy will increase the danger from militant Islam.  Once the money and the infrastructure provided by oil production goes away, what do Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE have to offer the rest of the world?  You can put oil on a tanker and ship it anywhere in the world for a relatively low price.  If you covered the entire Arabian Peninsula with solar arrays and wind turbines it would still be far more expensive to transport that electricity anywhere else.  The likelihood of increased isolation from the West is high in a post-oil world.

So as you listen to the talking heads listing the threats to our safety by our enemies around the world--don't forget that we have a few "friends" that aren't doing us any favors either.

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