Thursday, October 14

Uh-Oh - NY Times: Saudis Pissed at Bush

Wow...Bush's last friends on the planet seem to be turning against him.
Saudis Blame U.S. and Its Role in Iraq for Rise of Terror

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 13 - Seventeen months into a shadowy terror campaign that has killed more than 100 people, numerous Saudis express less anger at the insurgents than at the United States for its invasion of Iraq, the signal event that they say touched off the attacks inside the kingdom.

In interviews over the last week, the Saudis condemned the terror attacks, aimed primarily at foreigners, but called them a small inconvenience that has not forced them to make significant changes in their daily lives. By contrast, they expressed unremitting disdain for the United States.

Many Saudis appear to have reached a form of intellectual accommodation with those carrying out the violence. When asked about the attackers' goals, they assigned varied motives but often one that is consistent with their personal, social or political concerns.

Behind all this lies an ever more complex Saudi-American relationship. Its foundation, of course, is the shared need to buy and sell oil. But the fact that 15 of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudi has become an issue in the presidential campaign, as has the accusation that the Bushes are too close to the royal family.

No one here seems to care about any of that. Instead Saudis unceasingly complain about American support for Israel and the war in Iraq, which they call unjustified, though Saudi Arabia allowed American troops to operate here during the war. Government officials also say they deplore the Bush administration's call for more democracy here. "It's none of their business," one of them said with scorn.