I've been doing a lot of writing on the forum this week...
No al Qaeda links
Here's an article published today that indicates Saddam had no links to al Qaeda:
Coincidentally (or perhaps not), Dick Cheney was on Rush Limbaugh yesterday contradicting these Defense Department findings, which were:
"(AP) Saddam Hussein's government did not cooperate with al Qaeda prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, the U.S. Defense Department said in a report based on interrogations of the deposed leader and two of his former aides."
This was something I had hoped would be done before Saddam's execution--simply ask him whether he had ties with al Qaeda and if he had WMD. Now we see that they asked him about al Qaeda; I wonder if a Defense Department report will be released any time in the near future indicating that they asked Saddam about WMD.
More on Saudi Arabia
I found out something the other day that I was not aware of, namely that Saudi Arabia maintains a state of war with Israel. The Saudis are also known funders of Hamas and Hezbollah, and if one believes the official 9/11 story, 15 of the 19 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. None of the hijackers were from Iraq or Afghanistan.
I am not advocating that we go to war with Saudi Arabia, but I am curious why Bush chose to invade Iraq instead of Saudi Arabia. I am curious why Bush holds hands with Saudi princes when they come to his villa in Crawford for cordial visits. After all, there is no doubt that Saudi Arabia had/has "al Qaeda connections" (Osama bin Laden is a Saudi, after all) and that they fund groups that are at odds with Israel and that they consider themselves to be in a state of war with Israel. Also, Saudi Arabia is a fundamentalist Islamic monarchy that tramples on the rights of women.
These are all arguments used to justify invading Iraq and Afghanistan, but somehow Bush is willing to overlook them in Saudi Arabia's case. What I'm trying to say is that, in light of these facts, Bush's claim to be fighting a "global war on terror" while simultaneously considering Saudi Arabia an ally is completely absurd.
Now I can think of a couple reasons why it wouldn't be a good idea to go to war with Saudi Arabia--namely, Mecca and Medina, the two holiest cities in Islam. Arguing that we are not at war with Islam would be very difficult while bombing and/or occupying Mecca.
But also, the Bush family has been very cozy with the Saudis for decades now. Saudis helped George W. out of a couple jams in his business dealings. Also, the price of oil would be even more outrageous than it is now if we were to attack Saudi Arabia.
Consequences of not playing the game by our rules
But I think the real reason we don't attack Saudi Arabia is because they have bought into our system. They have invested heavily in the U.S., they've let the U.S. have military bases there, they aren't threatening the hegemony of the petrodollar, etc.
In other words, they're playing our game and they benefit from it. The U.S. has never liked countries that don't play our game, i.e., Cuba, Chile, Venezuela, Iraq, etc. We don't mind dictators as long as they know and remain in their place in the international system over which we rule--Saudi Arabia being a prime example of that principle. China is another example--they're a Communist country that violates human rights but since our biggest retailer Wal-Mart benefits so greatly from trade with China, we give them a pass.
However, we maintain a crippling embargo against Cuba supposedly because it is a Communist country. The real reason, however, is that Castro doesn't play our game.