Thursday, March 23, 2006

Security Means Alaskan Oil

Commentary by Martin Kelly
June 3, 2004

On May 29, the body of Michael Hamilton, a 61-year-old Scot, was dragged through the streets of Khobar, Saudi Arabia, before a siege in a hotel that resulted in Al Qa’edist militants fleeing the scene after slitting the throats of a Swede and an Italian.

I don’t buy the official version of what happened at the weekend. Given the amount the Saudis spend on arms and other items which are potent in other hands but which in theirs are as useful as children’s’ toys, it is not beyond the bounds of belief to imagine that the forces assaulting the hotel had access to state of the art surveillance equipment. If that were the case, the Saudis would have had good cause to know precisely who inside the building were the terrorists and who the hostages. So many of them got away that I think someone let them go.

At the same time as the foreign workers who are essential to the existence of a place on the map called Saudi Arabia are being killed or evacuated, its government has cut the production of the only commodity the country has to sell in order to increase its own revenues and as a protest at the actions of the countries who provide the workers who keep Saudi Arabia functioning. Whichever way, they are not our friends. We must disengage from them completely and at once.

Removing troops is one thing, but removing their economic prop is the only way in which events in Arabia can be brought to a head, for good or ill. The spectre is that a Saudi Arabia without the Sauds will be a mujahideen paradise, selling oil to the most unsavoury places on Earth. That may indeed be the case, although the lack of indigenous expertise in extracting, refining and shipping oil makes one think otherwise. The only reason why the Saudis have been able to perform to their consistent double standards is because they already have captives, in the form of the world oil market. To all intents and purposes, we are their hostages, and have been ever since oil started being pumped.

There is only one solution for this, which is for the President to go back to the first principles he proclaimed in 2000 and start pushing another bill for oil drilling in Alaska. The environmentalists are funded by rich do-gooders whose own business ethics do not bear close examination. As in the abortion struggle, the rights of people are paramount – they must trump those of plants and beasts. It is not until the Western world and the USA in particular is free of the vice of Saudi oil that the Saudi people will be free to take the course that their culture, history and temperament will dictate for them.

In the meantime, the vexed issue of the propagation of Saudi Wahhabi Islam must be tackled. The province of Ontario has become the first English speaking jurisdiction to establish a Sharia court. This means that Canadian Muslims have now established a legal apartheid for themselves, subjects of the Queen asking for justice in her courts but not subject to her law. This is a development that can never be allowed in the USA or anywhere else. It is increasingly hard to see the connection between our leaders’ words and actions on the vital issue of Islamism. If a fat twister like Abu Hamza al-Masri has in fact gone over the line from preaching jihad to practicing it, he deserves whatever justice is brought on his head. However, jihad is an article of faith for him, sanctioned by his holy book. Jihad demands war. Preaching war should be prosecuted, no exemptions, no excuses.

On the Arabian Peninsula, tribalism is the norm. It was only the presence in abundance of a commodity that advanced industrial societies elsewhere need that brought the limited explosion in prosperity for a few that has forced that country’s deeply medieval culture into conflict with the coveted appurtenances of the 21st Century. Their culture has been unable to cope with the shock, and Osama bin Laden has been the result. No more.
Off to the North.