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The Saudi Exception

By Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich

23 May, 2008

There is nothing more dangerous than a resourceful idiot -
Scott Adams

Is Mr. Bush the idiot who attempts to be resourceful at the expense of world citizenry?

The Bush White House with its democratic war doctrine has threatened world peace and by using coercion and threat of war is bent on depriving Iran of civilian nuclear technology, even though Iran has not violated the NPT. Yet, in a move that defies all logic, Mr. Bush has offered Saudi Arabia nuclear technology. Given the Kingdom’s past attempts to gain access to nuclear weapons and its record on human rights violations, either his sanity is questionable or his motives.

According to documents released from the British National Archives under the 30 year rule (dated December 12, 1973 and marked 'UK Eyes Alpha'), it was revealed that after the 1973 war, “[that] British intelligence believed the United States was ready to take military action” that is, invade, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, “to prevent further disruption to oil supplies” and “to secure control of their oil fields”.

The jittery Saudis, cognizant of a possible future invasion, offered to pay for the reconstruction of Iraq’s Osirak-reactor which was destructed by Israel in 1981. As late as 1985 Iraqi and Saudi military and nuclear experts were co-operating closely, the extent of which cooperation included sending Saudi nuclear scientists to Baghdad for months of training.

Between 1985 and 1990, up to the time Saddam invaded Kuwait, payments were made on condition that some of the bombs be transferred to the Saudi arsenal. Muhammad Khilewi, the second-in-command of the Saudi mission to the United Nations Khilewi brought with him more than 10,000 documents he obtained from the Saudi Arabian Embassy. The cache included transcripts of a secret desert meeting between Saudi and Iraqi military teams a year before the invasion of Kuwait. The transcripts depict the Saudis funding the nuclear program and handing over specialized equipment that Iraq could not have obtained elsewhere.

The defector's documents also showed that Riyadh had paid for Pakistan's bomb project and signed a pact that if Saudi Arabia were attacked with nuclear weapons, Pakistan would respond against the aggressor with its own nuclear arsenal.

What Khilewi did not know was that the Fahd-Saddam nuclear project was also a closely held secret in Washington. According to a former high-ranking American diplomat, the CIA was fully apprised. The funding stopped only at the outbreak of the Gulf War in 1991. The fact that the CIA was aware of this, could explain why Khilewi was not granted federal protection when he abandoned his UN post and became an opponent in late June 1994.

Given that Saudi Arabia is a pariah state like Israel and attempted to obtain a nuclear bomb, much like Israel, perhaps the logic lies in their penchant for democracy that makes it acceptable for Bush to give them nuclear technology. Israel, a democracy for Jews only, violates the rights of Muslims and Christians, the latest such incident being orthodox Jews setting fire to hundreds of copies of the New Testament in an act of violence against Christian missionaries. Saudi Arabia has no tolerance for any religion other than Islam. In that women have no rights and political dissent is punishable in Saudi Arabia, should not stand in the way of this ally having a nuke; especially since their backdoor friendship with Israel is invaluable.

Aside from the glamorous Plaza hotel in N.Y., co-owned by Israel's Elad Group and the Saudi-based Kingdom Holding Co., the neoconservative’s propaganda machine certainly makes the Saudis a trustworthy partner – in some corners. In early September 2005, Bin Talal bought 5.46% of voting shares in News Corp. This made the Fifth richest man on the Forbes World's Richest People, the fourth largest voting shareholder in News Corp., the parent of Fox News. News Corp. is the world's leading newspaper publisher in English. Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal boasted in Dubai his ability to change the news content that viewers around the world see on television. No doubt with their nukes, they will be able to change a great deal more!

The pertinent question is, what has been changed thus far for this White House to give nukes to an oppressive regime, known to have pursued nuclear bombs, and with a history of terrorism, be it training the Taliban or allegedly, or to have a tendency to send over terrorists, the 15 or the 19 hijackers on 9/11 and spread Wahhabism?


In 2004, after the illegal invasion of Iraq, a foundation was created and controlled by a consortium in which the key players were the Carlyle Group and the Albright Group. The purpose of the consortium was to secretly transfer some $57billion Iraqi debt owed to the government of Kuwait after the invasion. Under this deal, $2billion would be given to the consortium with half of it going to Carlyle. This was not an easy task as the time the world was willing to forgive Iraq’s debt for reconstruction and the consortium had offered to use its ‘influence’ to ‘maximize Kuwait’s debt collection (Nation). Carlyle’s benefits were endless.

During the 2006 war, while Israel bombed Lebanon, Carlyle profited greatly – as did the Saudis, the U.S., and of course, Israeli. The systematic destruction [of the Middle East’s only democracy] translated into significant opportunity for the Carlyle Group and with the ‘crisis, they announced a $1.3 billion fund for investment in the region. They were not alone. The rush was on. The big investment banks -- Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Lehman Brothers – all increased their presence in the region. Israel, the perpetrator as the benefactor, received an increase of USD 500 million additional in aid package from the U.S. in September of the same year (Ynet news).

And was it not wondrous indeed that John Bolton was able to hold off the United Nations Security Council for 33 days and nights before a cease-fire could finally be declared?

Perhaps for more importantly for the Bush administration and Israeli hardliners, the Saudi rulers are fulfilling their ultimate desire – the destruction if Islam. These fanatic Wahhabis are destroying the birth place of Mohammad and all traces of it, and replacing it with parking lots. The same oil-rich orthodoxy that pumped money into the Taliban as they prepared to destroy the Bamiyan buddhas in 2000 is now destroying Islam's two holiest cities, Mecca and Medina, which date back to the lifetime of the Prophet Mohammad1,400 years ago (The Independent). This is the highest cooperation possible from an ally, well deserving of nukes.

While the Saudis are being rewarded for their cooperation, they must remember that prior to the 1979 Iranian revolution, the Shah was an ally who cooperated with the United States and Israel. His oppressive regime was given nuclear technology too. Today, in spite of its peaceful use, the civilian technology is being used to declare war on Iran. The Saudis who are fond of $5 million diamond covered Mercedes while the Palestinians are being incarcerated and starved, should be mindful their friendship will not be for long. After all, they are sitting on top of the world’s biggest oil reserve; and Mr. Bush is not the idiot we think he is.

Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich is an Iranian-American studying at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. She is a member of World Association of International Studies society, Stanford. Her research focus is U.S. foreign policy and the influence of lobby groups. She is a peace activist, essayist, radio commentator and public speaker.


Global Security

Stockholm International Peace Research Institute SIPRI


FrontPage Magazine: “Buying Fox New” Dec 13, 2005

The Nation, Oct 12, 2004,7340,L-3309771,00.html

Erie Leser, “Carlyle Empire”Le Monde, April 29, 2004

The Independent

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