June 27, 2010

An open letter to President Barack Obama

An open letter to President Barack Obama

Mr. President I write to you on the occasion of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz’s visit to the United States of America.

The Saudi-American relations are currently facing challenges. The bilateral relations have passed through a difficult phase since the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Although the fact-finding committee which presented its report on Sept. 11 attack confirmed that there was no direct or indirect involvement of the Saudi government in this attack, yet the negative media campaigns have increased in the United States against Saudi Arabia, coupled with the negative statements repeatedly calling for the US to “re-evaluate its relations with the Kingdom.”

In 2005, at Crawford a meeting took place between Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah (then crown prince) and President George W. Bush. In that meeting the world witnessed the wisdom and pragmatism of Saudi Arabia, which showed its keenness to secure supplies of energy to the world as well as the Saudi interest in establishing stability, peace and security in the region.

Through my meetings with various US ambassadors, members of the honorable Senate and House of Representatives as well as the US media, I had the opportunity to explain the consequences of the US media campaign on the Saudi-American relations:

I indicated that the Saudi society is surprised by the storm of media criticism in America of Saudi Arabia. I explained Saudi Arabia’s efforts in combating terrorism. I made my point very explicitly on the draft resolution submitted by the notorious Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania, and the negative program proposed by Sen. Anthony Weiner. I also commented on the book written by the neo-conservative hawk in Washington at that time, Richard Perle.

Mr. President, I believe that both our countries share the responsibility of consolidating and supporting the media and cultural bodies that have a significant influence on public opinion. It is important to understand the strategic relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Saudi Arabia can no longer accept the media attacks directed at Kingdom’s interests. As much as you value the security and interests of your country, we too are proud of our identity, our faith, our heritage and our national interests. We are against terrorism, we are against the killing of civilians, and we are against terrorists, including those who occupy Arab lands.

Mr. President, there are few prominent names in the United States eager to pass a law to “punish Saudi Arabia.” They are: Anthony Weiner, Arlen Specter, Susan Collins, Lindsey Graham, Bob Graham and Ron Wyden. These people accuse Saudi Arabia of financing terrorist organizations. This is a repeat of lies of the Zionist lobby that Saudi Arabia encourages anti-Semitism. After Sen. Arlen Specter had proposed the “Saudi Arabia Accountability Act” in the Senate, Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York intended to submit a similar proposal to the House of Representatives. But the most negative media campaign against Saudi Arabia was the book “The End of Evil,” by the neo-conservative Richard Perle, who blames the Sept. 11 attack on the Saudi government.

Finally, Mr. President, there is the issue of the Saudi student Humeidan Al-Turki.

Now that the Supreme Court of the State of Colorado has ruled to reject the appeal filed by the defense of Al-Turki, there remains one final constitutional solution to this problem.

In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued a presidential pardon to Hank Greenspan, the leader of a smuggling network of arms to Israel. The network that ridiculed the reputation of US intelligence.

In September 1974, President Gerald Ford pardoned President Richard Nixon for his role in the Watergate scandal that shook the US.

In 1989, President George H.W. Bush pardoned Orlando Bosch, one of the most aggressive terrorists who had masterminded the bombing of a civilian aircraft, one of his many terrorist acts.

In 2000, President Bill Clinton pardoned Al Schwimmer who was accused of organizing a network smuggling arms to Israel.

In July 2007, former President George W. Bush issued a pardon to I. Lewis Libby, assistant to former Vice President Dick Cheney after being indicted on lying and perjury charges, the most ugly charges in the dictionary of American justice. In December 2008, President George W. Bush issued a presidential amnesty for 19 prisoners convicted of exploitation of their business in helping Israel, as well as the presidential pardon of other dignitaries involved in fraud, deception and possession of illegal arms and drug trafficking.

Mr. President, is the Saudi student’s (presumably accused of harassing his maid) action more serious than charges of those convicted of election fraud, bombing planes, lying, and possession and smuggling of arms and drugs?

Mr. President Barack Obama I wish you success in your mission for better Saudi-American relations on the basis of common and equal interests of the two countries.

Abdullah Al Alami

(Saudi writer)



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