Magazine article USA TODAY

The President and the Terrorist: Does George W. Bush Have Business Ties to Osama Bin Laden?

Magazine article USA TODAY

The President and the Terrorist: Does George W. Bush Have Business Ties to Osama Bin Laden?

Article excerpt

"... Isn't it a concern that [former Pres. George H.W.] Bush, having traveled the world soliciting business for a giant defense contractor with deep ties to Saudi sheiks who funded Al Qaeda ... may have been whispering into the ear of his commander-in-chief son to wage a global war on terror?"

FOR REASONS unbeknownst to millions of Americans, Pres. George W. Bush has not come under scrutiny for framing the debate on the so-called war on terror in terms of good and evil, being fought by those who love freedom (us) against those who hate freedom (them).

Any student of history will tell you that all wars are fought over territory, resources, and the markets that come with the conquest--which translates into mote money and more power for the victors. There always is a cover story routed in fear and fanaticism, but money and power inevitably lie at the core of what motivates human beings to wage war. It is no coincidence that Al Qaeda attacked the very symbols of our economic power and military might on 9/11. At least there was no ambiguity on its end.

Modern economies are fueled by petroleum. The U.S. is the largest consumer of petrol products in the world, yet this country owns a scant three percent of global reserves. An estimated two-thirds are located in the Middle East, so it stands to reason that the U.S.'s dependence on oil is the basis by which we formulate our policies in the region. No administration can afford to allow its most vital interests to be jeopardized. Moreover, as consumers, we certainly have no desire to pay five dollars for a gallon of gasoline. In this way, we are no different from any other country, that has a policy in the Middle East.

If voters were more aware of the complexities of this deadly and divisive multinational, high stakes oil game, they would be much more likely to support political candidates stumping for renewable energy resources to lessen our dependence on not just foreign oil, but fossil fuels in general. An electorate equipped with this knowledge would spell doom for the likes of Bush and other "Fossil Fuel Dinosaurs." Is it any wonder that the President cannot look the American people in the eye and even mention the word "oil" when speaking about the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, or on terror in general? Why has this Administration gone to such extreme lengths to avoid confronting the very issue that got us into this so-called war on terror in the first place?

In the wake of 9/11, the Bush team knew the country was frightened, distracted, and uninformed, and the Administration spun a web of lies designed to keep it that way. The President wants the public to believe that the evildoers never will stop hating us because, as Americans, we never will stop loving freedom. If true, the only option is to enter into a state of perpetual war. After all, it is us against them. Either you are with us or you are against us.

The truth is, the U.S. is terminally addicted to Middle Eastern oil; in particular, Saudi Arabian oil. For the last half-century, every president has taken office with the understanding that America has a special relationship with the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, absolute rulers of 17,000,000 people and the world's largest--Iraq ranks second--oil reserves. Basically, the Royal Family gives American interests preferred access to Saudi crude, and, in turn, the U.S. provides them with security from the likes of Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, and any other threats to their oligarchy.

Yet, it is not merely Saudi interests that America is protecting. Over the last 50 years, U.S. corporations and the Saudi Royals have been engaged in global scale, multibillion dollar oil, arms, and banking ventures. Numerous U.S. military contractors have forged highly lucrative arrangements with the Saudi armed forces. The trouble is, this cozy relationship has caused Washington to turn a blind eye to the kingdom's radical and dangerous elements that continue to threaten America's national security. …

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