Censorship as a Confession
By Jean de Belot
Saturday 26 July 2003
There s something corrupt in the principles of American diplomacy. The essence of Congress report on the September 11, 2001 attacks is not the reassessment of the FBI and the CIA, who, it was already known, knew and should have anticipated and avoided (what happened). The most spectacular, the most serious (issue), concerns the American Administration s decision to ban the publication of the 28 of the report s 900 pages which referred to the role of Saudi Arabia. In the country of required transparency, this censorship is more than a blunder: it s a sort of confession, the confirmation that Washington has nourished an alliance with the complicated regime of the Saud family for years, all the while knowing that the latter buys its internal peace by financing Al-Qaeda. Look for the mistake! By covering up the pages that detail it, Washington makes this collusion even more obvious, grievous, and threatening.
Certainly, Realpolitik is a constant of history. Caesar, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Roosevelt and de Gaulle were able to secretly negotiate, even enter into agreements, with their sworn enemies. And the complexity of the Near-East, as of the Saudi regime, bars any hasty conclusion. But this business does not look at all good for George Bush.
The schoolboy lies of the American administration and the Blair government about Iraq have been exposed. The situation in Iraq bogs down. And now here s the world s premier power obliged to cover up its relationships with the leaders, or, in any case, those close to power, of the regime that finances their enemy.
The report is surrealistic. Washington declares a global war on corrupt states , but protects the principal financier of terrorist networks. The premier global economic power can intervene everywhere, but finds itself constrained to avoid one of the most troubled states on the planet because it controls the black gold market. Riyadh has only to turn the faucet to manipulate prices. And, at the same time, the zakat, a Muslim tax , compels each believer to pay 2.5 % of his savings each year. Thus, through various channels, Saudi Arabia has the means to maintain the enemies of the same system the functioning of which it assures. Who controls whom?
Of course, Washington is not a dupe. The Iraqi operation has its logic: assure an oil production that, while guaranteeing the stability of the global economy, permits it to deal with the other terrorist regimes in the area; implant democracy step by step, and, by creating an opening on the western way of life, liberate these countries from the Islamist risk. But the scenario is not unfolding as planned. Nothing, for the moment, has been gained.
There is, however, an urgent need to deal with the Saudi case specifically. Opulence and under-development, a plethora of hereditary princes, an exploding population, screaming disparities: that s the Saudi Arabia the Al-Qaeda terrorists dream of taking over. By censoring certain pages of Congress report, the Bush Administration demonstrates that it definitely has proof there of the threat.
Translation: TruthOut French language correspondent Leslie Thatcher.