December 02, 2003


A stunning column by Saudi Arabia’s Dr. Muhammad Talal Al-Rasheed, written following the Islamist murder of Prince Talal Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Rasheed:

We have bred monsters. We alone are responsible for it. I have written as much before my personal tragedy and will continue to do so for as long as it takes. We are the problem and not America or the penguins of the North Pole or those who live in caves in Afghanistan. We are it, and those who cannot see this are the ones to blame.

Castrated as we are, we look to America. Why? Because they went into Iraq and made a difference. Better or worse is another point. Once America has demonstrated its willingness to do something, the moral imperative is that it should not stop at the first station along the road. The majority of us are sick and tired of this carnage and President Bush, wrong on just about everything else, is right on this one. Does he have the (courage) to finish the job? I wonder.

I hope. Via Melanie Phillips, who writes: “Hang your heads in shame, all you Bush-loathers and fellow-travellers of terror. You are on the other side to this courageous man. No chance, of course, of such heroism ever being reported by our sick media.”

Posted by Tim Blair at December 2, 2003 03:10 AM


Trying to get a jump on the market here in the States...what does it do tomorrow? :)

Posted by: Esq at December 2, 2003 at 04:01 AM

Mr. al-Rasheed certainly doesn't do much to bolster Bush's political courage to finish the job. First, of course, he questions said courage ("I wonder").

Second, he indicates that Bush is "wrong on just about everything else", not exactly a sentiment calculated to inspire Bush to go the extra mile for the likes of al-Rasheed.

Finally, he can't even bring himself to say that getting rid of Saddam and the Baathists was a good thing ("Better or worse is another point"), again rhetorically undercutting the goal that he claims to support.

Thanks a lot, pal. Don't call us . . .

Posted by: R. C. Dean at December 2, 2003 at 05:44 AM

I thought Penguins were from the South Pole?

Posted by: Vince at December 2, 2003 at 06:46 AM

penguins are funny!

Posted by: roscoe at December 2, 2003 at 07:03 AM

I'll tell you something else he doesn't say. He doesn't say that the Saudis should stop funding this hatred. He doesn't say that someone, somewhere in the Middle East should stop the terrorists from entering Iraq, or stop the mullahs from encouraging them. His "courage" is a cowardly little affair that wonders whether Americans have the strength to watch while their sons and daughters get killed by these same terrorists.

Posted by: Dom at December 2, 2003 at 07:50 AM

Not only that Dom, in effect he says "You stupid Americans, come rescue me from the consequences of my own folly, malevolence, and incompetence." That's what I take to be his meaning in hoping Bush will "...finish the job." Are we sure this guy isn't French?

Posted by: Michael Lonie at December 2, 2003 at 09:27 AM

Those of you carping don't understand just what a big step such a position is for a Saudi. Instead of criticising, you should be glad that the Saudis have woken up not only to the fact that the Islamists are their enemy, but that THEY created them. They are facing the fact that September 11 and all the other acts of mass murder associated with Al Qaeda is THEIR blowback, and not the USA's. Can't you see how important that is? The whole problem in the Arab world is the refusal to take responsibility for anything. This goes right against it.
i've got family living in the Arabian peninsula and I can tell you that they are simply amazed at the changes happening in Saudi society. Maybe it's not fast enough for some people, but it's happening, and it will help to transform the Middle East, just as the liberation of Iraq from Saddam will do. Now all we need is for the Iranians not to start meddling again(in fact the Saudi funding of Islamists was done not to attack the West but to counter Iran's revolutionary influence in the 1970's and 80's.)The Saudis played that particular game of inter-muslim rivalry disastrously for us all, but they've now seen what it's done to them as well.Tim's right to highlight this(and there's been many other instances of Saudi awakening in the Arab News and Saudi Gazette recently).

Posted by: sophie at December 2, 2003 at 10:11 AM

SOP - the Saudia Gazette is an English language daily. Here is Dr. Muhammad Talal Al-Rasheed's full editorial, though MEMRI printed most of it.

The opening lines they didn't print: "IN ten years of editorial writing (a quarter of my overall age) I have not written a word about me personally or my family. Today, I beg to take exception."

A couple lines MEMRI printed but Tim didn't excerpt: "I don t think this will be published in the Arab News, as it should be. If not, I understand their point of view and their perpetual selectiveness."

Posted by: Lynxx Pherrett at December 2, 2003 at 01:15 PM

A single muslim has pulled his head out of his ass, slightly less than a billion to go now. I would be more encouraged if the article was written by an imam or member of the Saudi royal family.

Posted by: Arty at December 2, 2003 at 01:51 PM

GIve him a week and he will have convinced himself beyond question that the USA and Bush in particular are the real reason his brother/uncle/ father-in-law is dead.

Posted by: papertiger at December 2, 2003 at 06:43 PM