Why Do We Pretend the Saudis Are Our Friends?

Almost everyone on both sides of the political aisle agrees that Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the United States in the Middle East. Why?

Bush held hands with Saudi Princes as if he were a blushing bride. Obama has been castigated for "bowing" to the Saudi King. Yet almost everyone on both sides of the political aisle agrees that Saudi Arabia is a key ally of the United States in the Middle East. Why?

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They support the most extreme brand of Islam, the equivalent of White Nationalist Identity Christianity in the US. They exploit their dominance of the world's oil reserves to keep us dependent on fossil fuels, adding to the danger of global warming. They supplied most of the individuals who attacked us on 9/11 and they supply most of the "foreign fighters" in Iraq responsible for suicide bombing attacks on US troops and Shi'ite communities. Oh, and they covered up Al Qaueda's involvement on the most deadly attack on American troops stationed on their soil, the 1995 bombings of the Khobar Towers. Yes, your read that right, they covered upo the complicity of Al Qaeda, pointing the finger at Iran, when all the evidence suggested it was their own homegrown Sunni fundamentalist Islamic terrorists who were responsible:


On June 25, 1996, a massive truck bomb exploded at a building in the Khobar Towers complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, which housed United States Air Force personnel, killing 19 airmen and wounding 372.

Immediately after the blast, more than 125 agents from the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were ordered to the site to sift for clues and begin the investigation of who was responsible. But when two US Embassy officers arrived at the scene of the devastation early the next morning, they found a bulldozer beginning to dig up the entire crime scene. [...]

United States intelligence then intercepted communications from the highest levels of the Saudi government, including interior minister Prince Nayef, to the governor and other officials of Eastern Province instructing them to go through the motions of cooperating with US officials on their investigation but to obstruct it at every turn.

That was the beginning of what interviews with more than a dozen sources familiar with the investigation and other information now available reveal was a systematic effort by the Saudis to obstruct any US investigation of the bombing and to deceive the US about who was responsible for it.

The Saudi regime steered the FBI investigation toward Iran and its Saudi Shi'ite allies with the apparent intention of keeping US officials away from a trail of evidence that would have led to Osama bin Laden and a complex set of ties between the regime and the Saudi terrorist organizer.