Crunchy Con recounts his encounter with encounter with Abdullah Zainal Alireza, the Saudi Minister of State. I had a longer post about this, but the Firefox crashed and I lost it. Sigh.
Abdullah Zainal Alireza, the Saudi minister of state, came calling today here at the paper. He was in Texas this week speaking at the US-Arab Economic Forum in Houston. Abdullah came across as a highly sophisticated diplomat, and he had some interesting things to say. He said, for example, that the US cannot think of withdrawing from Iraq. For one thing, it would destroy our credibility internationally, because the US went in and destroyed the controlling institutions of Iraqi life, and can't walk away from them. For another, said Abdullah, Iraq would collapse into a massive civil war that would likely draw in Turkey, Iran and neighboring Sunni Arab states.
On Iran, he said that the US cannot allow Iran to get the Bomb. Well, I asked, what if it happens anyway? He repeated, firmly, that it must not be allowed to happen. Period. The end. ...
They particularly complained about the connection between Islam and terrorism. One of the associates, whose name I didn't get, said that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism, because by definition a terrorist is not a Muslim, so why do we in the media keep acting like there is a connection? Etc.
I'm not sure how much was posturing and how much they really believed, but they sound a little disconnected from reality.