Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Second Order Change

More from Angelo Codevilla's book Advice to War Presidents: A Remedial Course in Statecraft on what the U.S. could do if we were serious about going after the money that funds terrorism:

It is true that our own regime's present proclivities and prejudices make cutting the Saudis off from money well nigh impossible. But it is just as true that actually doing the cutting would be easy. Instantly, U.S. banks (and such other banks as value their access to the U.S. banking system) can freeze the accounts of Saudi citizens. Saudi oil revenues can be placed in escrow accounts. Simultaneously, U.S. forces can seize control of the main Saudi fields and loading centers almost without opposition, pushing the Wahabi Saudis back to their original tribal areas in the Arabian Peninsula's center. This would please mightily the coastal Shia tribes whom the Saudis oppress and live nearest the oil. The various foreigners who actually run the oil industry would also get a better deal. On the Red Sea side of the peninsula, U.S. forces could help the tribes who lost to the Saudis in 1921, descendants of the Prophet Muhammed who chafe under Wahabism, to take their historic vengeance. To forestall the interior tribes' resistance, the United States can blockade to deprive them pf food and essential maintenance, while letting it be known that the material and financial blockade would be lifted somewhat once the Saudi regime had been replaced, the Wahabis eliminated, and the tribes posed no danger to the world. That would be war.

Indeed it would. In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, I thought that seizing the Saudi oil fields should have been our first military response. Nearly eight years later, it's a bit depressing to consider how little has changed vis a vis Saudi Arabia and its importance in supporting (directly or indirectly) Islamic terrorism.

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