Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Saudi Bases and Reality

The only reason for noting this story in today’s New York Times is that it shows (inadvertently) not only the extraordinary complications of our Iraq strategy/diplomacy, but its success. There has never been any doubt in my mind that the Saudis would go along with our plans. Ironically, their survival (in some form) may well be assured by a liberalisation of the Mid-East, of which the regime change in Iraq is only one piece. They learned this about six months after 9/11. Yet, these things are difficult for them to say, and not only out of self-interest, but because they are in the habit of saying things that they think their listeners want to hear, rather than saying something for the sake of clarity or the truth. Words are not the same as ideas, and ideas are not facts, not reality. Facts and reality are ignored. Remember Saddam claiming victory even before the "mother of all battles"? There is coming a point in all this diplomacy/strategy when the Arab fondness for the poetry of their language will have to start receding in favor of what reason may be found in and with the language; else, they will have to learn to think in a tongue that is able to represent reality.

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