Big surprise: Saudis continue to fund terror

File this under “duh”: on Sunday the New York Times reported that “ Nine years after the United States vowed to shut down the money pipeline that finances terrorism, senior Obama administration officials say they believe that many millions of dollars are flowing largely unimpeded to extremist groups worldwide, and they have grown frustrated by frequent resistance from allies in the Middle East, according to secret diplomatic dispatches.”

That’s another conclusion drawn from more than 200,000 secret diplomatic cables dumped onto the Internet by WikiLeaks. The worst culprits: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab emirates, Qatar and Kuwait.

The Saudis, in particular, seem to want to have it both ways – claiming Washington as an ally when it serves their interests (like getting a record arms deal this year), but allowing funding to continue to the groups America is fighting around the world, or at lest not cracking down very hard.

I mean, it’s not like Saudi Arabia is a democracy worried about human rights and constitutional freedoms or anything.

This is the same Saudi Arabia that, according to the same WikiLeaks dump, is eager for America to send its young men and women to fight Iran so the sheiks can be safe.

Still, don’t hold your breath for any real congressional opposition to the $60 billion arms sale despite a recent congressional letter on the subject; there’s too much money involved, the military brass want it, the arms manufacturers want it and the administration wants it. Republicans will use it to bash the Obama administration, but they, too, have danced the Saudi quickstep for too many years to quit now.

A nation without an energy policy, after all, can’t be too picky about its “friends.”

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.