J. B. Kelly noted in his celebrated Encounter essay (“Of Valuable Oil and Worthless Policies”), written in 1979, that the United States for decades had a “Twin-Pillar” policy in the Middle East, relying on the assured stability and friendship of those two “staunch allies” Iran and Saudi Arabia. The Three Stooges, Carter and Brzezinski and Gary Sick, aided by others of that uncomprehending ilk (behind every Robert Hunter was a Shirin Hunter — all of them still going imperturbably strong by the way), allowed that First Pillar, Iran, to sink into the swamp of Khomeini and Islam. That is, they allowed it to revert to what the short-lived Pahlevi Dynasty, going back to the mid-1920s, had tried to change. In their own way, the Pahlevis tried to limit the power of Islam. Certainly they managed to mightily improve the treatment of non-Muslims and create, as was never created in any Arab state, a thinking elite that was open to the West and to taking an interest in, even deliberately cultivating, the pre-Islamic or non-Islamic aspects of Iranian history.
Thanks to the Three Stooges, each with his act, Carter the Pious, Carter the Good, Carter the Saintly, Brzezinski the Deep Geopolitical Thinker, the “Strategist” (deeply resenting the fame and money and glory of Henry Kissinger, who was in fact not a great deal better than Brzezinski in his comprehension of the Middle East and Islam), and of course the inimitable Gary Sick, who cost taxpayers millions in Congressional investigations of his wild charges. Google “Gary Sick” and “Daniel Pipes” for a bit more on the man who, predictably, has ended up as some kind of pooh-bah director of something-or-other at Columbia, which has become in all things middle-eastern the last refuge for scoundrels and dopes.
Iran did not have to be lost. The Shah could have been encouraged to hold on. Even the left in Iran, that had foolishly made its deal with the Islamic devil, might have been assuaged had, early on, the corruption at court been modified, had a Bakhtiar been propped up. But it didn’t happen. Carter wrote to Khomeini, hailing him as a “fellow man of faith.” It was all there, written in Farsi, what Khomeini’s views were, and what he planned to do. Bernard Lewis had read it; he knew what was to come. But no one in the Carter Administration, least of all Brzezinski and Gary Sick, would have figured out that just perhaps, while Khomeini was still in his French exile, but movie theatres with hundreds inside were already being burned to the ground by Muslim militants in Iran, they should have those texts translated so as to find out what Khomeini was all about. (Of course Sick can’t read Farsi — he’s only an “Iranian expert,” not a “Farsi-reading Iranian expert.”) As for the 1942 statement by Khomeini, the one he adhered to all his life, the one quoted repeatedly at this website, that insists that the essence of Islam is making war and killing the Infidels — that remark never came up. The contents of those cassettes that Khomeini made in Neauphle-le-chateau, after he was kicked out of Iraq by Saddam Hussein (and the government of France so trustingly took him in), were never translated and never listened to — not one, I am sure — by Carter, by Brzezinski, by Sick. They were flying blind, making things up, the way they and so many others in successive administrations do whenever the subject of Islam or Muslim peoples and polities comes up.
So the First Pillar of the “Two-Pillar” Strategy fell. That left the Second Pillar — Saudi Arabia. It was, and for some remains, our “staunch ally.” It is nothing of the sort. It is nothing of the sort because the Al-Saud, and those over whom they lord it, are all suffused with Islam. And their Islam is un-modified or softened by anything else, such as a non-Arab ethnic identity, that might tug them slightly away from Islam. They see themselves as the purest Arabs (they are that) and the purest Muslims (they are that). As such, the Infidels, however much they may need to be used or manipulated for Saudi ends, are and can only be the enemy. It is our “staunch ally” that has spent, over the past several decades, nearly a hundred billion dollars on world-wide campaigns to spread Islam, to build and maintain mosques and madrasas all over the Western world, to finance campaigns of Da’wa, and to spread the worst kind of anti-Infidel propaganda — the kind that Freedom House managed to pick up in Saudi-financed mosques in this country and report on.
That report should be required reading for everyone even remotely connected to policy-making and to the security services in this country, and indeed all over the Western world. But Saudi money has also gone to financing certain “academic” centers and individual professors, and to buying goodwill through the carefully-targeted largesse (when Bill Clinton became President, it was the turn of the University of Arkansas to receive Saudi money) to Presidents and ex-Presidents, to Presidential libraries, to the Baker Center at Rice, to their favorite charities which so often are their private fiefdoms or domains. This lessens the general interest in this report. Yet the Saudi textbooks that contain the most incredible — and yet entirely predictable — rantings against Infidels were not new, but had always been there. Saudi Arabia has not changed; it always was this way, but only recently have some begun to understand it differently. Yet still there are those who cling to the idea that Saudi Arabia is our friend, because the “good” side — the corrupt and worldly Prince Bandar and his supposed allies — will win.
But Prince Bandar, for all of his blague, is not and cannot be a friend of the West, or insure that Saudi Arabia will stop being the chief funder of the Jihad, the Jihad whose chief instruments are the “money weapon” and Da’wa and demographic conquest. (Paying for mosques and madrasas makes the conduct of Muslim life easier, makes it easier to settle deep within the Lands of the Infidels, and to retain a belief-system that is inimical to the well-being of those Infidels). And finally, the buying-up of influence, especially in Washington, by the Saudis, has been the main obstacle to an energy policy that recognizes the need to diminish the use of fossil fuels.
Now the Two Pillars seem to be together again — but not in a way that bodes well for the United States. One of the Pillars is the Iran of Ahmadinejad, with his support for Hizballah and his clear determination to efface the Infidel state of Israel from the map. If some Arabs — “Palestinians” — must die, so what? It doesn’t matter to Iran or to other Muslims, for what counts is the impossibility of tolerating control of the land, no matter how tiny that sliver of land may be, by non-Muslims.
And the Second Pillar is Saudi Arabia, which may seem, but only to those who want to be fooled, temporarily a force for good, for “moderation.” But what motivates the daggers-and-dishdashi rulers of Saudi Arabia? Not any desire to improve the wellbeing of the United States, or to prevent its conquest, or that of Western Europe, by Islam. Certainly not the wellbeing of any Infidels. That would not make sense. That would be contrary to Islam. They are motivated, in the main, by two desires: to promote Islam, its power and glory, and of course, above all other things, to secure and promote their own well-being, the princes and princelings and princelettes of the Al-Saud. If they can come to some understanding with the Shi”a fanatics now running the Islamic Republic of Iran, that will allow the Sunni fanatics now running Saudi Arabia to avoid having to deal with Shi”a unrest in the oil regions of Al-Hasa, or just outside the confines of Saudi Arabia, in Bahrain and other sheikdoms with smaller Shi”a populations (such as Kuwait), or for that matter with Shi”a tribes in Yemen, a place that has always worried the Al-Saud. And they are worried with reason, given its larger population, and the many Yemenis who manage to come across the border for work, but who have historically been a source of Saudi disquiet.
One doubts if the Carter Administration, as it flailed about as the Shah fell and then during the hostage crisis, ever had compiled a file on Khomeini and his beliefs, or the beliefs of the True Believers in Shi”a Islam. One doubts that the Bush Administration today — much less those that preceded it — has ever thought to fully inform the members of that Administration, or rather the thousand most powerful people in the Executive and Congressional branches, by compiling a file marked “Islam: Main Aspects of the Belief-System” and distributing that file. And such a file would have to get beyond, far beyond, the simple-minded business of Islam as a “tolerant” faith, or Islam as a matter of Ramadan and Iftar dinners, but get to the heart of the matter: how, in Islam, are Infidels viewed? How, in the history of Islamic conquest, have Infidels — all kinds of Infidels, Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Buddhists, and others — been treated? No more room for potted apologetics whether from the likes of John Esposito (who during the Clinton Administration was actually consulted by them, apparently — a man who, were things seen correctly, would be disgraced for his deliberate, constant, well-reimbursed dissembling about the nature of Islam). No more room for the others who make up the Fifth Column of MESA Nostra, and who have captured the minds of the impressionable and innocent young.
No, one doubts that there is such a file that circulates in the government today, for fear that it might get out, for fear that it would fall into the hands of those who would report it. Then the government would feel it would have to distance itself, would have to apologize to the world’s Muslims for correctly describing the nature of Islam — as described by every single Western scholar of Islam, and writer on Islam, for centuries. If, for example, the brilliant analysis of Islam written by one of the greatest American statesmen, John Quincy Adams, were to be circulated today by the American government, or put into the Congressional record by a Congressman, it would promptly be denounced by editorialists everywhere. How dare such views be given expression, or even circulated within the government?
But until some home truths about Islam — the same home truths that this weekend the most important domestic experts on Islam, Ibn Warraq, Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and other apostates, are expressing — are generally recognized, sensible policies which both recognize and exploit the natural fissures within Islam will not be created.
As Ahmadinejad meets the Saudis, Shi”a and the Sunni make peace, trying to head off hostilities. What is your reaction to that meeting? Is it one of pleasure that “instability” in the Middle East may be avoided? Are you glad to see such signs, not so much of reconciliation, but of “peace-making” between Sunni and Shi”a? If you are commonsensical, of course you are not glad. You hope that such efforts fail. You hope that Ahmadinejad and Abdullah do not really make peace.
But then ask yourself this: who, in this country, apparently wants them to succeed? Who in this country is willing to spend the lives of American officers and men, spend another few hundred billion (at least), ship over still more war materiel — so much that the National Guard has very little left for use here at home, as the “National” Guard — in order to do exactly what Abdullah and Ahmadinejad are attempting to do, that is to prevent “sectarian violence”?
Yes, the United States is apparently back with its old “Twin-Pillar Policy” that J. B. Kelly described in 1979, the policy of pretending that America” s interests could be furthered by relying on Saudi Arabia and Iran as those Twin Pillars. And now we see an Administration that obstinately cannot admit how mistaken it was in its failure to properly label the campaign that Infidels are, or should be engaged in. Instead they call it, idiotically, a “war on terror” which, among other things, does nothing to rally people in Western Europe against the growing menace of islamization in their own lands, as long as the instruments of that islamization do not include “terror” — and why should they, when things are going so swimmingly without terror as one of those instruments?
So if you are happy with Ahmadinejad and Abdullah attempting to head off sectarian strife, then you should be mightily pleased with the Bush Administration’s effort to do the same in Iraq.
On the other hand, if you share my view that sectarian and ethnic fissures within the Camp of Islam, offered on a platter in Iraq, offer Infidels the very best hope for dividing and demoralizing the Camp of Islam, then you will realize, with a pang, that the Bush Administration’s folly in remaining in Tarbaby Iraq is beyond measure, scarcely beyond comprehension, and it is a folly shared not only by loyalists of the Administration, but by all those who brightly speak or write so self-assuredly of “catastrophe” that would follow an American pullout, without ever asking the most obvious next question: “catastrophe for whom?” Nor do they begin to rethink assumptions about how best to weaken the Camp of Islam, and to arouse Infidels out of their somnolence. There is nothing like a Demonstration Project of Muslim violence, Muslim aggression, especially if it is if the kind where Infidels are nowhere in sight, for their presence so often blocks the view.
And it is a folly that has not been properly pointed out by those opposed to Bush and his Iraq nonsense, because they do not themselves see things accurately. They and attack him for the wrong reasons, not for the right and unanswerable reasons that have been presented at this website for three long and infuriating years.
So do you support the attempt to make Iraq a place where the “catastrophe” of sectarian violence can be headed off, and support the use of American troops, and the sacrifice of American lives, to do that? Do you? Then go ahead, support President Bush, and President Ahmedinejad, and King Abdullah, for all three of them agree with you. “Catastrophe” must be avoided.