Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, is a retired US Army officer with over two decades of service. Being retired military, he tries to make an extra buck by writing for the Wall Street Journal, not the most reputable paper in the free world. But it gets him out of the house and allows him to rant in public forums. Before the military brass sent him out to pasture, Peters served as a special assistant for strategic planning in the White House drug policy office, where he must have acquired a bit of expertise on the crack epidemic among Saudi youth. He also held positions in Military Intelligence and served as a foreign area officer for Eurasia. That probably explains the fact that he has little first hand knowledge of Saudi Arabia. Peters has published a book on strategy, "Fighting For The Future: Will America Triumph?". I haven't read the book, but I understand from reviews that it includes arguments about the right of the US to "dominate the earth for the good of humankind." The Colonel also writes fiction, which was made abundantly clear in a recent article he published in the Wall Street Journal, "The Saudi Threat' (WSJ, Jan4, 2002).
By some bizarre twist of fate, Peters has emerged as an expert on American relations with Saudi Arabia. In the old days, a retired officer could get a little pocket change by pitching arms sales to the Pentagon. But Congress tightened that loophole. So, now they have to hawk themselves as pundits with a book. If we were having a war in Argentina, Peters would probably be advocating that we confiscate all their llamas, cut their weekly beef allowance, teach them to speak English and make them Mormons.
To qualify as a 'Saudi' expert at the Wall Street Journal, there is an essential requirement that you have good skills in writing fiction. That skill allows an intellectual dwarf like Peters to write of "Saudi Arabia's deep and extensive complicity in supporting terror" and that the Saudis foment "instability that leads to still-greater oppression, backwardness and bigotry." Among his allegations is that the Saudis fund religious extremists from "Michigan to Mindanao." He writes contemptuously of how "Islam drags a country backward." If you have a problem, Peters can find a way to trace it to the Saudis. The cause of all the world's trouble, from Pakistan, to Indonesia to Kashmir emanate from a diabolical group of conspirators led by the Monarchy. If you have acne problems, it is because of the quality of Saudi oil. Even Pakistan's "Islamic" nuclear bomb was developed due to Saudi pressures. Only Pakistan's nuclear bombs have a religious persuasion. Peters makes no similar references to the "Jewish Nuclear Arsenal" or the "Hindi bomb" or the "French Catholic Nuclear capabilities."
Last year the United Nations sent an urgent appeal for food and blankets because of starvation in Afghanistan. Few countries bothered to respond. But the United States, Saudi Arabia and Norway did respond to the appeal. To Peters, this qualifies as Saudi support for the Taliban's reign of terror. In his judgment, the $65 million dollars in American aid was the work of innocents lending a hand to a starving child. But Saudi Food and Medical supplies to the same Afghans was some kind of sin. Peters also forgets to mention that it was the CIA that enlisted the Saudis to assist the Afghans in waging a war of liberation against the invading Soviet army.
The new crop of self-appointed experts on Saudi Arabia are up in arms over the fact that "female US service personnel must go about in Islamic dress when they leave the quarantine of those bases." I got an easy solution for Peters. Take that American garrisons out of there. They serve no strategic purpose, draw entirely too much negative attention, cost the Saudis a fortune and feed the paranoia in the region that the United States wants to take over the region's oil resources. On the last count, the paranoia of the average Saudi is not unfounded. Peters actually stokes the paranoia by stating that "we must be willing to seize the Saudi oil fields and administer them for the greater good." Why would America want to do that to our primary ally in the Gulf War against Iraq? Well, because Peters believes that "far from being indispensable to our security, the Saudis are a greater menace to it than any other state, including China." I am sure the Chinese are amused by his public display of dementia on the pages of the Wall Street Journal.
In a final blow at the Saudis, he calls on his fellow Americans to confront the 'hateful, medieval, murderous nature of the Saudi vision of Islam.' He wants the CIA to come up with a new more Americanized version of the religion for the region, a more compliant Islam.
The Peter's article is unique only in that it was written by the amateur pen of a specialist in fiction. So, on its face it appears as just the jingoistic rants of a lonely retired Army man with nothing better to do. But the Saudis need to become more attuned to the fact that there are legions of 'Peters' who have been hired to launch a broad vicious campaign designed to create a permanent wedge between their country and the people of the United States. At the head of the parade is the usual suspects, like Thomas Friedman who complains of high oil prices, even though he pays the same price at the pump that he was paying twenty years ago. No, matter. The Israel First crowd wants to bust Bush's coalition to assure that no pressure comes to bear on the activities of their favorite war criminal, Ariel Sharon. On their agenda, America is always a distant second.
Guys like Ralph Peters can easily be lured with a relatively small price tag and a promise of publishing another jingoistic book. I have a clue for Peters and his ilk. Remove the garrison from Saudi Arabia. End the vicious murderous Israeli military occupation, end the sanctions on Iraq and stop groveling to the Yiddish supremacists at the Wall Street Journal. And then see how the war on terrorism can be won without firing a shot. As for the business of reforming Saudi Islam, that is an option that should be left entirely to the Saudis, unless Peters fancies himself a new prophet for the Arabs.
The thing that really drives me up the wall is when a demented racist like Peters pretends that he has the slightest concern for the liberties of the Arab people. The WSJ essay, smothered in redundancies, he did not bother to write so much as a sentence about the plight of the Palestinians under occupation. He is not at all concerned for the liberty of their men or their women or the suffering of their children. Nothing in the segregationist Alabama of the 1950s came close to comparing with the daily cruelties inflicted for thirty-four years on the Palestinian people. But, to please his Yiddish supremacist lords, an intellectual derelict like Peters will write whatever they say so long as he gets to beef up his 401-k retirement account.
One final word of advice to the Saudis responsible for their country's public image. This is the moral equivalent of war. Do not allow feeble minded 'experts' like Peters to go unchallenged. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of your people and your natural resources.
Those individuals and mass media corporations currently involved in this smear campaign need to be confronted. Silence only encourages these bigots to make up whatever fiction they want about Saudi-Arabia and the Saudi/American relationship.