Colin Powell sat side-by-side today with Prince Abdullah to announce his support for the Saudi plan to send Islamic troops to Iraq. You remember Abdullah, don’t you, the man who recently said of terrorism in his country:
This is seduction. You all know who is behind it all. Zionism is behind it. It has become clear now. It has become clear to us. I don’t say, I mean‚Ä¶ It is not 100 percent, but 95 percent that the Zionist hands are behind what happened.
(You can find this rather horrifying discussion live here, if you haven’t seen it already.)
Of course, “95 percent” may be a signal in Abdullah’s World that he is “fibbing” (let’s hope so) because the new plan may turn out to be useful, at least in the short run. It seems to have the backing of Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi who so far has shown himself to be a skillful politician in a difficult situation. To put it mildly, I don’t envy people living in those societies. Years ago, when I spent some time in the Soviet Union visiting Soviet writers, I got a sense of what day-to-day existence under a totalitarian government can do to your mind. I am sure in a religious-fascist state or a “kingdom” like Saudi Arabia it is much the same. The extraordinary rigors of that life could even effect your DNA.