I think we should make "Bandar" the official title of the Saudi ambassador to the US, in the wake of Bandar bin Sultan's 20-year career as the point-man between Saudi Arabia and the United States. His career was great for Saudi Arabia, and disastrous for the United States-he nurtured the sovereignty-destructive relationship between Saudi elites and greedy, weak-willed, out-of-power but influential US elites. The most disturbing aspect of this isn't the cooptation of our retired elites; it's the influence that this has on the actions of our leaders while they're still leading us. It's a form of meddling in US affairs, and the Saudis have to be told to stop it in no uncertain terms.
The new Bandar won't bring about a new way of doing things; he'll only maintain and extend the sinister edifice built by his predecessor. Call it Bandar's Banana Republic; it's that web of relationships, mutual back-scratching and implied rewards for favors that has poisoned this country's ability to behave seriously with the Saudis by coopting our venal political class. This has to stop, but the appointment of Bandar Bandar's replacement gives me little reason to believe it will. The Saudis will continue to corrupt our spineless politicians, apparently.
So now that Bandar Bandar has gone home, Bandar Turki bin Faisal, Osama bin Laden confidante
, a lying torture-denier
who claims Zionists are behind Islamic terrorism in the Arabian Peninsula
and has been named
in the trillion-dollar lawsuit over 9/11, has now replaced him
(after having been Ambassador to London).
Why did the first Bandar, Bandar Bandar, leave? Probably to pursue a bigger job
if his father becomes the Crown Prince, such as intel chief
-he has even expressed the desire to be King himself. Fat chance in Saudi Arabia for the son of a slave-girl.
Bandar Turki seems like something of a downgrade. It's hard to understand why they would send such a tainted individual to replace Bandar Bandar (who himself became tainted when it emerged that his wife may have helped finance
a couple of the 9/11 terrorists' US stay).Mark Steyn has had some funny interactions with top Saudis like Turki.
Being sent Turki after Bandar signifies that for the Saudis, nothing has changed, and we're getting more of the same. Meet the new Bandar, same as the old Bandar.
Down with the Bandar system!