Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald wonders why recent revelations about Saudi textbooks actually surprise some people:
In the three decades plus since the quadrupling of oil prices, the 10 Arab or Muslim member-states of OPEC (which is to say, all the members of OPEC, save Venezuela) have received about $9-10 trillion dollars. The figure I have previously used of $5-6 trillion was too low. For more on this, google “OPEC” and “annual revenues” and do your own calculations.
Some of that money could all along have been saved, through the recapture of oligopolistic rents, simply by taxing ourselves. At any point, Saudi Arabia has an “ideal” price — i.e., the price at which the value of its reserves, by its own calculation, is maximized. This is based on the energy market, at present and in the future, including the development of other oil fields, or of alternative sources of energy, or of elasticity of demand. Whatever that “ideal” price X, at any one time, the addition by the consuming nations of a tax Y will force the Saudis either to lower their own prices (up to the full amount of “Y” if they wish to keep their ideal price “X” for consumers), or to see the market shift away from oil too rapidly.
This was not understood back in 1973, when much could have been done (a few trillion dollars saved — think what that could have done for Social Security, education, alternative energy, for a start). The fact that it was not done reflects the Saudi success in buying up the services of a small army of apologists, including ex-ambassadors and C.I.A. agents. Attention has been paid to Edwin Wilson and Fran Terpil, who were involved with Khaddafy; no attention has been paid to Raymond Close, who “retired” early in 1977 from being Station Chief in Saudi Arabia to go into business with some Saudis, and who has been dutifully involved in all sorts of activities, including BCCI, and has been working as an “international business consultant” ever since — dutifully giving the Saudi take on everything. The Saudis have also paid journalists and of course well-connected political figures and hangers-on. (The Kennedy apparatchik Fred Dutton should not be overlooked). These people, like others all over the Western world, took in some tens or perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars.
Meanwhile, several trillion dollars might have been recaptured from OPEC if Saudi Arabia had been seen, accurately, not as a friend but as a mortal enemy of Infidels –whatever plausible Prince “we-are-all-men-of-the-world-have-some-port-have-a-Havana-cigar” Bandar assured successive American governments. And of course no one bothered to ask about Saudi Arabia’s funding of mosques and madrasas all over the world, with their close connection — see the Freedom House Report — to inculcation of hatred toward all Infidels. After all, that bought-and-paid-for army of apologists was there to parrot the Saudi view, and to tell us again and again that Saudi Arabia is America’s “staunch ally” — beginning as always with that picture of Ibn Saud and Roosevelt meeting on a ship.
One would not have expected any alarms about Saudi money (nearly $100 billion worldwide) going to fund mosques, madrasas, and hate literature (with Infidels being the hated) to come from the likes of Raymond Close, or James Akins, or the late John C. West, or West’s friend Crawford Cook, or the entire host of Saudi hirelings (direct or indirect). Nor would we have expected any alarms to come from those who have simply been given gigantic honoraria for this or that “speech” to an Arab audience in Kuwait or the U.A.E., or at an Arab-funded lecture series at places such as Tufts. George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton have both pocketed large sums from the latter. Few can ‘scape whipping — or should.
As part of the 9/11 report, Congress ought to have investigated the role of Saudi money in creating these apologists, in putting so many on the payroll, and in buying up and controlling academic centers for “Islamic Studies” — or at least setting up individual chairs. The Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. Both conveniently at Georgetown, in Washington. The Saudi funding for a chair (or was it a “center”?) in Islamic Studies, establishedat the University of Arkansas when Clinton was president. The money for Presidential libraries: Bush, Carter, Clinton. The money for King Abdul Aziz Chairs hither and yon. The $20 million just given to Esposito’s operation, and then to Harvard. The support for Professor Frank Vogel, recipient of Saudi largesse at Harvard Law School as “The Guardian of the Two Noble Cities Adjunct Professor of Islamic Law” — a little “adjunct” sum to supplement his regular chair’s emoluments. And so many others, at Exeter and Durham in England, for centers, departments, individual chairs, all keeping the discussion of Islam carefully within the MESA Nostra bounds, so that were a potential Joseph Schacht or a Snouck Hurgronje or an Arthur Jeffrey to come along as a student, he would not be nurtured but stymied, his scholarly investigation limited (no following in the footsteps of Bat Ye’or for further work on treatment of non-Muslims under Islam, no discussion of the immutability of Islam when “reform” is all the rage, no investigation of the doctrine of Jihad as it is understood at al-Azhar, or the seminaries of Qom, or by the good doctors of Saudi Islamic universities. Whether the money is used to create a “center” or to go to a pre-existing department, or merely to fund an individual “scholar” who will keep things under control it all amounts to the same thing. And it’s worked. MESA Nostra rules. The great scholars of Islam who lived between 1880 and 1960 have been replaced by — something else. Here and there an individual carries on, but that is despite all the odds, and certainly not at the “great” universities where the situation is the worst. The Saudis, for more than 3 decades, have been getting their money’s worth.
And they still are.
Remember that all these “bad things” about Saudi textbooks that we are suddenly getting glimpses of, all that indoctrination in hatred of Infidels, was always there — it did not suddenly enter the curriculum. It is we who simply, over a longer period, knew nothing about it.
Why didn’t we? Who kept us from knowing? Where was the C.I.A.? The American ambassadors? The journalists? Why was it not understood in 1950, or 1960, or 1970, or October 1973 when OPEC prices were quadrupled, that much of the money would inevitably be spent on those mosques, those madrasas, that Da’wa, demography, and dhimmitude?