HomeFeaturesDailyBriefingsRapidReconSpecial ReportsAbout Us

5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations

Crossroads Arabia directs to an article in the Washington Post by CFR's Rachel Bronson titled 5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations. As she lists them, they are:

1) The U.S.-Saudi relationship is a bargain of oil for security.

2) The 9/11 hijackers undermined otherwise strong U.S.- Saudi ties.

3) The Bush family and the House of Saud are too close for comfort.

4) Washington can call the shots with the Saudis because the United States is all-important to them.

5) The House of Saud is about to collapse.

She also adds:

But the cleavages common before a revolution are not visible in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom is now aggressively pursuing terrorists on its soil, and reform-minded Saudis view King Abdullah as an ally.

Washington would be better off planning on the royal family enduring. It's also the best chance Washington has to realize its oil and counterterrorism goals -- and avoid alternatives that could be worse.

Note that she did not say 'the' reform-minded Saudis - as to imply that all of them are. Based on the evenhandedness of her approach throughout, this is not simply the absence of a small word.

There are many issues that can and should be taken up with the House of Saud (and they are). But before the American public grinds its teeth in seething anger, let's not forget that, while 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, those same Saudi hijackers could have easily turned planes into Riyadh. al-Qaeda is no friend of Saudi Arabia, either.

This is not to say that we should sit around the campfire lauding each others' efforts combating the terrorism that seeks us both out in bloodlust.

This is to say that the relationship is quite necessarily complex. (Consider also that this comes from a man who cherishes clarity.)

This is also to say that Rachel Bronson's is an excellent effort dispelling '5 Myths' that circulate far too casually in American domestic political discourse among the men and women who cast ballots determining future American Foreign Policy, four years at a clip.


Listed below are links that reference 5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations:

» Our friends the Saudis from Murdoc Online
Threats Watch: 5 Myths About U.S.-Saudi Relations Michelle Malkin: Something Doesn't Seem Right WaPo: This is a Saudi textbook. (After the intolerance was removed.) Glenn... [Read More]

1 Comment

Regarding the "Myths" article, the analysis seems good.

I have a close friend and business associate currently working in a number or regions of Saudi Arabia. He tells me the "regular Saudis" seem to like the new King quite a bit and it looks like he is there to stay.

Correctly alluded to, the business and political ties to Asia and SE Asia are building every single day. Aprox. 80% of all workers in Saudi Arabia are foreigners.

Additionally, that he sees daily evidence of a very, very serious crackdown on terrorists and/or people feared to be close to turning into terrorists. The reducation camps are for real and they seem to be working. This gentleman is retired from the Special Forces world, so his powers of observation are quite keener than most. By his reconing, the level of civil liberties may be lower, but it may actually be safer in Saudi Arabia for foreigners than in many other places like South Africa, and even NYC today.