Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Prince Turki al-Faisal on American "standing" 

Greg Djerejian quotes Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States, Prince Turki al-Faisal, as having said "It is no secret that U.S. standing in the Middle East is at an all-time low," which Mr. Djerejian believes is "quite a statement" coming from a sitting Saudi ambassador. Prince Turki -- who, by the way, graduated from the same boarding school as your blogger -- remarked on U.S. standing while standing in front of an Arab-American political group. In the same speech, he faulted President Bush, the first president of the United States to call for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state and the first head of state of any country to insist on fair and contested elections among Palestinians, as not having done enough for the Palestinian Arabs. He also denounced the idea that Iraq should divide into sections, which he predicted would result in "ethnic cleansing on a massive scale," and said that the United States should stay in Iraq as long as the Iraqi government wants it to.

So, as low as American standing in the Middle East may be, the quite candid Prince Turki al-Faisal apparently believes that it will go lower still if the United States were to adopt a policy in Iraq of either partition or withdrawal, the two alternatives that are most popular among Democrats who do not want to "stay the course." This last bit at least spares us the spectacle of Democratic attack ads or talking points featuring a Saudi Prince opining about the low "standing" of the United States in the Middle East. After all, if he were an authority on that question we might also think that Prince Turki is a credible critic of our policy in Iraq (I actually do, but then I'm not campaigning for either partition or withdrawal).

Be that as it may, Greg Djerejian obviously thinks that our low standing in the Middle East is a problem, and perhaps it is. I would feel worse about it, however, if I thought there had been a single moment since the fall of the Soviet Union when "standing" in the Arab Middle East actually did the United States any good. In fact, our standing in the region was low enough even ten years ago that sheer contempt for the United States was sufficient to rally a multinational force from across the Arab and Muslim world to support a declaration of war against our country (in 1996) and successful attacks against American targets in 1996, 1998, 2000 and 2001. Somebody needs to explain how the fall of our "standing" from "contempt" to "loathing" hurts our interests, because I honestly don't see how it has.


By Blogger Andrewdb, at Tue Oct 31, 12:25:00 AM:

Of course the same seems to apply to Saudi standing in the non-governmental USA.  

By Blogger Gary Rosen, at Tue Oct 31, 01:58:00 AM:

The Saudis' standing hasn't fallen with me. It's been at rock bottom as long as I can remember.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Tue Oct 31, 06:37:00 AM:

Seems to be this boy did a lot of double talking ... spewing what the AAL wants in sound bites just before the mid-term elections. If we're hated, then they should want us out of the ME altogether. The fact is, these scum butter their bread on appeasing the ignorant filth they exist over, and walking the line between the USA's support of that situation, and keeping their subjects satisfied is difficult.

And I agree with GR ... the Saudi's aren't exactly our pals. They produced how many 911 bombers? and likely underwrite a lot of this terrorism. We SHOULD bring the war theatre to SA to teach them a lesson, IMHO (then to Iran, Syria...)  

By Blogger skipsailing, at Tue Oct 31, 11:48:00 AM:

Yes, the speech can be summed up this way:

"America can improve its standing in the Middle East by giving us EVERYTHING we want. such appeasement will buy you peace for a while, until we tire of these gifts and make new demands."

the part of this I find most offensive is his demand that Jerusalem be turned over to the muslims.

Why should we? What special claim do the muslims have on a city that is central to three important religions? Old Mo only visited, christ died there. Giving Jerusalem to these barbarians will insure that we never see it again.

In his most recent speech to the UN Bush called the region "The holy land" and he meant it. the muslims have been ghastly stewards of a region that is important to christians and jews.

I recall a reading at one mass that mention Tyre. As I pondered the words I recalled that the Israelis were then pounding that city in a effort to bring a halt to the rocket attacks emanting from this holy site.

I also recall the story about the palestinian terrorists holed up in a christian church using the pages of the bible as toilet paper.

And somehow we are supposed to concern ourselves with their attitude toward us? That attitude seems quite clear. They hold us in contempt. Always have, always will.

what this Saudi guy should be saying is this: "We arabs and muslims aren't looking too good right now. All this butchering and murdering is giving the people of the west the impression that we're savages. since at this point the most complicated thing we are capable of producing is an IED maybe we should stop complaining about everything under the sun and get to work."

that, at least, would have some truth to it.  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Tue Oct 31, 10:04:00 PM:

What was our standing in Leningrad in 1985?  

By Blogger DEC, at Wed Nov 01, 02:01:00 AM:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

By Blogger DEC, at Wed Nov 01, 02:17:00 AM:

America's standing in the Middle East? It is interesting to look at some other "standings." Everyone can draw their own conclusions.

GDP - PER CAPITA (2005 est. unless otherwise indicated, all figures US dollars)

U.S. $41,900
UK $30,300
Israel $24,600

Some Successful/Reasonably Successful Muslim Nations:

United Arab Emirates $43,400
Qatar $27,400
Brunei (SE Asia) $23,600
Bahrain $23,000
Kuwait $19,200
Saudi Arabia $12,800
Malaysia (SE Asia) $12,100
Libya $11,400


Iran $8,300
Lebanon $6,200
Syria $3,900
Egypt $3,900
Iraq $3,400
Pakistan $2,400
West Bank (2003 est.) $1,100
Yemen $900
Afghanistan (2004 est.) $800

Source of the numbers: CIA. (Headings are mine.)  

By Blogger Assistant Village Idiot, at Wed Nov 01, 06:52:00 PM:

Good list DEC. With some interesting exceptions, that is also very nearly the ranked order of how friendly those nations were to us in 2001, also.

Nations on the make economically seem to like us better than those which are stagnant, eh?  

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