The Daily Demarche
Watch this space!
Thank you all for your patience and the e-mails, I expect to be up and running again in the next few days- I was promised internet service a few days ago, which means I should have it in about a week. At least there are internet "cafes" here, so I can check e-mail and dash this off.
This one doesn't seem like the most desirable place to be in this corner of the Far Abroad, though. Anyway, stay tuned, I'll be back soon.
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And now- intermission.
As our regular visitors will know, I am in the midst of a post-to-post transfer. My time in the U.S. is just about up, and this is very likely to be my last post for a while. I am fairly certain that it will take a bit of time for me to get internet service in my new home- a less than developed country. For obvious reasons I can't post from work, so I'll have to content myself with stockpiling ideas in the meantime. Smiley is also between posts, and so may not be able to post too frequently either. While we are off the air please be sure to visit our friends listed on this site, and check in with us from time to time, there is no telling when we'll be back. With that, here are my "intermission thoughts."
While spending time in Washington in various training classes and seminars, in speaking with colleagues and having consultations with area experts for the region to which I am heading, I have had ample time to formulate some ideas about what I would like to do, and the direction I would like to see the Department take over the course of the next few years.
The Department of State Mission Statement reads as follows:MISSION
Create a more secure, democratic, and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.VALUESLoyalty
: Commitment to the United States and the American people.Character
: Maintenance of high ethical standards and integrity.Service
: Excellence in the formulation of policy and management practices with room for creative dissent. Implementation of policy and management practices, regardless of personal views.Accountability
: Responsibility for achieving United States foreign policy goals while meeting the highest performance standards.Community
: Dedication to teamwork, professionalism, and the customer perspective.
I think this is a well thought out and clearly written Mission Statement- but there is at least one thing it is missing: a commitment to outreach- both at home and abroad. I have had the opportunity to see many old friends while home, and to make a few new ones as well. One theme has been constant while home: people are interested in what the Foreign Service is, and by and large have almost no idea. The most common image they have is of the weasel faced guy in a bad suit who visits the wrongly-imprisoned beautiful girl in a foul foreign prison, or of a striped-pants, Appletini drinking effete living the high life in exotic locals (of course these images are grounded somewhat in truth, making them even more painful to me). What most people don't know is what the day to day grind is all about. For the most part it is a job like any other, full of repetition and cubicles, mediocre bosses and long hours. What makes it all worth it is the knowledge that the contacts we make and the information we gather and send to Washington plays a part in our relationship with other nations- and from time to time we are witnesses to history. Visits by the President, the Secretary of State and other high officials provide the opportunity to put those contacts to use; the agendas they cover are informed by our efforts. Making these contacts, maintaining them, and gaining insight to their thinking makes up the bulk of international diplomacy. Why is it so hard to find any information, even on the Dept. of State website, about what the Department does? This is one of the first things I'd like to see the Department do- engage in some outreach at home. The more people know about what we do, the more accountable we can be held.
Coupled with that, we need to improve and expand our Public Diplomacy efforts overseas. Every single employee in our embassies and consulates needs to have PD written into their job description. Our Ambassadors and Consuls General must have any measurement of their success tied to outreach efforts, senior performance pay and bonuses should be directly tied to the efforts made to get our message out. In addition, we need to refocus who that message is aimed at. Our top officials, and many other officers at the mid and lower levels, spend too much time with the elites of a host country- we need to get out and press the flesh, let the people see and talk to an actual American. I plan to make this a part of every position I hold, and will write it into the requirement s of those I supervise as well. We should aggressively respond to incorrect press pieces, and foster relationships that allow us to place accurate information in local media. We need a return to the days of cultural exchanges- reasonable speakers from all walks of life should be promoted abroad, even the unreasonable if presented in a balanced environment. Imagine a Michael Moore vs. Pat Buchanan debate in London- with the message being that both sides exist in America, and that is our strength.
More than anything else, we need to get over the "PC" issues that have been beaten into the Department over the last few decades. From the early 1970s through today we have suffered from the effects of Congressional meddling. The lily-white male dominated Foreign Service of the past was forced to change, and rightly so (for example if two officers were to marry the female had to resign, up until 1972), but the Service of today, based on competitive testing for entry, is an agency that quivers in fear at the idea that we might offend anyone. When Powell stated that one of the keys to leadership is "knowing when to piss people off" his message went right past a generation or two of officers who were incapable of even grasping the idea, let alone actually doing it. In speaking with a group of FSOs the other day, all of whom were busily bashing Amb. John Bolton, I tossed out the idea that Bolton might be the most effective Ambassador we have. Can anyone really doubt that when he speaks his audience knows that he has the full confidence and blessing of the President? Many of my colleagues have forgotten that our Ambassadors are the direct representative of the President to the host nation- not the other way around.
Coupled with that is the need to accept and encourage risk taking of the intellectual variety. FSOs serve in some of the worst places in the world, unarmed and exposed. Physical bravery is almost never discussed, but it is a real factor in our lifestyle. It is odd then, that our reporting is scoured for ideas that might be offensive and rewritten so as to be as bland as possible- we tiptoe around central themes in order to protect the sensibilities of our hosts- in short, we rarely, if ever, call a spade a spade. Average folks would have a very hard time deciphering the real meaning of most of our reports. It is the very directness of the Bush administration, I think, that drives many of my colleagues crazy. I won't even go into detail over how obtuse our annual evaluations are, other than to say that we operate on the principle of "damn by faint praise." My personal goal is to inject as much frank, direct language, into the service as possible. The people I work with are committed and extremely smart individuals. They just, by and large, need someone to tell them that it is okay to be direct and frank, even if that means saying some things that not everyone wants to hear.
I am saddened to once again leave this country I feel so strongly attached to, but eager to get back to work. I'll miss posting here until I am able to resume doing so, but know that I will be fully engaged every moment of every day. This blog has been a great outlet for me over the last months. The comments left and the e-mails received, the group projects written and the blog-friends made have energized me, and helped me to focus my thoughts and vision of my future in the Department. I am looking forward to the day I can begin to post regularly again, and hope that all of you will pick us up again when we get back into full swing. Please keep in mind that our foreign policy is really an extension of our domestic policy- both are aimed at preservation of the American way first and foremost, so please stay engaged. Make sure your elected officials know what you think about our foreign policy and interactions, and try to get your friends engaged as well. Until some point in the future, thanks for all the great feedback and encouragement, take care of your families and your friends, and keep an eye on things at home for me.
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In today's news
it was announced that the entire U.S mission to Saudi Arabia, our stalwart "ally" in the war on terror, is closed for today and tomorrow:American diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia will be closed for two days on Monday and Tuesday because of a threat against U.S. buildings, according to a statement from the U.S. embassy in Riyadh. The announcement of the closure on Sunday was followed by a quick response from the authorities in Saudi Arabia that there was no concrete information about any threat.
The statement advised American citizens in the kingdom to maintain a high level of vigilance and take appropriate steps to increase security awareness.
While I am glad that we are taking proactive action to protect my friends and colleagues in the Kingdom, I have to admit that I am more than a little confused by actions that are rumored to be in the works for the U.S. mission to the House of Saud.
In the immediate aftermath of the September 11th attacks on the United States, as it became clear that the preponderance (15 of 19) of the hijackers were Saudi, and that the Visa Express
program in the Saudi Kingdom presented a clear and continued threat to national security, public backlash against treatment of the Saudis by the State Department was immense. Heads (Mary Ryan
) rolled and the entire visa process was overhauled.
So why is it that we are hearing that now, with the situation in Saudi Arabia far, far from ideal, that we are considering EXPANDING
visa operations in the Kingdom to include Dhahran? The Daily Demarche received today, from our Consular colleagues, information indicating that plans are in motion to offer expanded visa services to Saudi nationals in Dhahran. This information has not been confirmed- we can't ask about it for obvious reasons- but the word in the hallways at the Truman Building is that the Dept. of State will begin, sometime soon, to offer visa services in Dhahran for Saudis- to ease the inconvenience of travel to the capital. This means exposing American and loyal local personnel to risk in the Dhahran area despite the last travel warning
in effect for the Kingdom, which reads in part:Due to concerns about the possibility of additional terrorist activity directed against American citizens and interests, the Department of State continues to warn U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia. The United States Mission in Saudi Arabia remains an unaccompanied post as a result of continued security concerns. Non-emergency employees and all dependents of the U.S. Embassy Riyadh and Consulates General Jeddah and Dhahran were ordered to leave the country on April 15, 2004. An armed attack on the U.S. Consulate General in Jeddah occurred on December 6, 2004, resulting in casualties among the non-American staff and damage to consulate facilities. Although counter-terrorism efforts have succeeded in diminishing terrorist capabilities in Saudi Arabia, terrorist groups continue to target housing compounds and other establishments where Westerners may be located. Saudi Government facilities are also targets. In addition to car bombs and armed assaults involving multiple gunmen against such facilities, terrorists have used ambush attacks to kidnap and/or assassinate individual Westerners.
Given what we know about Saudi Arabia, the state of Islam and the threats to Americans in the region, is this really the time to make it easier for citizens of the Kingdom to have easier access to our diplomats, loyal national employees and the United States? I for one don't think so- the Saudis have given no indicatation that they view fundamentalist Islamic terrorism as a problem in which they are partners to the solution, and making it more convenient for them to enter the U.S. seems like an odd way to respond to their reticence. Should this corridor rumor be true it will be one more dark mark in our battle against Islmofacism and those who support our enemies.
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The hour of courage has struck on our clock.
I was trying to catch up on my blog reading today, in order to produce something for the weekend, and stopped by at The Glittering Eye
. The Eye is on vacation, but a post there from a few days back regarding the latest by Juan Cole
lead me on a merry chase around the blogosphere, following links to fiskings and comments galore. The gist of the Cole piece is that there is no way to wage war on terror, since we can’t be sure who, exactly, is the enemy:The terrorists don't have an ethnicity in common. Richard Reid and Lindsey Germaine were Caribbean. Others are Arabs. Some have been Somali or Eritrean or Tanzanian. Others have been South Asia (India/Pakistan/ Bangladesh). Still others have been African-American or white Americans. They don't even have to start out Muslim. Ayman al-Zawahiri was particularly proud of an al-Qaeda operative in Afghanistan who had been an American Jew in a previous life. Ziad Jarrah, one of the September 11 hijackers, appears to have been a relatively secular young man right to the end. It isn't about religion, except insofar as religion is a basis on which the recruiter can approach his victim. Islam as a religion forbids terrorism. But then so does Christianity, and that doesn't stop there being Christian terrorists. They are a fringe in both religions.
This is an interesting passage, as it does indeed demonstrate one of the major problems we have in combating our enemies- they could literally be anyone. There is, however, one indicator in that paragraph that we can grab hold of:They don't even have to start out Muslim.
The good Professor is 100% correct, they don’t have to start off that way. But it sure does seem that they end up that way, doesn’t it? I am not going to spend too much time fisking Cole here, it has been done many times, and much better than I can do it- check out Dean’s World
for a great response to Cole, and Michael Totten’s photo-fisking
of Cole as well, and be sure to peruse the comments of both blogs, lot’s of good stuff there. No, I am more concerned today with a point that Cole made in regards to the semantics of the “Global War on Terror”- Cole takes the fact that the GWOT term has fallen out of favor as a sign that we should for all intents and purposes abandon the struggle. I have long been apposed to the term GWOT, preferring to see instead a reference to the real enemy- radical Islam. The Bush administration has decided, apparently, that the term “global struggle against violent extremism" makes more sense- and it does, a little, but it is still not accurate. As we posted here last fall
:OK, I’ve said this before and I am going to say it again. There is no war against terrorism. We are not hunting down the FARC or ETA or Shining Path. We are not chasing the vestiges of the IRA. We are fighting Islamic extremism. I know this is not a ground shaking original thought, but it needs to be repeated. Islamic jihadists are the enemy, and terrorism is simply their weapon of choice.
It is imperative that we have the courage, as a nation, to shrug off the PC shackles that keep us from identifying the real enemy, and taking proactive measures to isolate and destroy those who would see the end of our very lives, as well as our way of life.
As Charles Krauthammer put it in the Wall Street Journal this week (long quote follows as it is not possible to link to the article):The American response to tightening up after London has been reflexive and idiotic: random bag checks in the New York subways. …It recapitulates the appalling waste of effort and resources we see at airports every day when, for reasons of political correctness, 83-year-old grandmothers from Poughkeepsie are required to remove their shoes in the search for jihadists hungering for paradise.
The fact is that jihadist terrorism has been carried out from Bali to Casablanca to Madrid to London to New York to Washington by young Muslim men of North African, Middle Eastern and South Asian origin. This is not a stereotype. It is a simple statistical fact.
… Yet we recoil from concentrating bag checks on men who might fit this description. Well, if that is impossible for us to do, then let's work backward. Eliminate classes of people who are obviously not suspects. We could start with a little age pruning -- no one under, say, 13, and no one over, say, 60. Then we could exempt whole ethnic populations, a list that could immediately start with Hispanics, Scandinavians and East Asians. Then we could have a huge saving, a 50 percent elimination of waste, by giving a pass to women, except perhaps the most fidgety, sweaty, suspicious-looking, overcoat-wearing, knapsack-bearing young woman, to be identified by the presiding officer.
You object that with these shortcuts, we might not catch everybody. True. But how many do we catch now with the billions spent patting down grandmothers from Poughkeepsie? You object that either plan -- giving special scrutiny to young Islamic men, or, more sensitively, just eliminating certain demographic categories from scrutiny -- will simply encourage the jihadists to start recruiting elderly Norwegian women. Okay. We can handle that. Let them try recruiting converts, women and non-usual suspects for suicide missions. That will require a huge new wasteful effort on their part. And, more important, by reducing the pool of possible terrorists from the hundreds of millions to, at most, the tens of thousands, we will have reduced the probability of an attack by a factor of 10,000. Those are far better odds at far less cost to us in money and effort. And infinitely less stupid.
The word “profile” has become something that we simply do not discuss- although we do it all the time. When you are walking down the street and realize that you forgot your watch and need to know what time it is who do you ask? The group of hip-hop young black men with hats on backwards and baggy pants around their hips, or the old white lady waiting for a bus with a basket on her arm? Do you ask the old lady then feel guilty all day? If you are reading this blog probably not- but I bet you know someone who does. Profiling may not have the best image in America for very real reasons- the Japanese interment camps of WWII, or the LAPD, but it is only a tool to be used for good or ill by those who practice it. In this day and age we have plenty of oversight to make sure that profiling is not carried to an extreme. It will offend Muslims, you say, and drive them to extremism? Why on earth would it do that? You must be a racist to think that. Why would it not prompt the Muslim community to police itself, to turn over those who besmirch the name of their religion and cast suspicion on all who practice it? Alas, I fear that the day will not come anytime soon where we will take a sensible stance in identifying and targeting our enemies.
“Why?” you ask. I am glad you asked. Let’s start with this:
"The bureau is against—has been and will be against—any form of profiling [of Arabs or Muslims]." —FBI Director Robert S. Mueller
Those who should know best that we need to have a good idea of who we are facing are in complete denial. The above quote is taken from the web site of Paul Sperry, author of Infiltration: How Muslim Spies and Subversives have Penetrated Washington. (Note: I have not read the book yet, but I have ordered it). In an interview regarding the book Sperry makes some hard to swallow claims:
Director Bob Mueller is so politically correct he's cut a deal with Muslim pressure groups to never use "Islamic" and "terrorism" in the same sentence.
(and)…the president has made the same pledge to never describe terrorism as Islamic -- you'll never hear him say "Islamic terrorism" either. Mueller's just taking his cue from the Oval Office. The tone is set from the top. The president never fails to remind us Islam is a "religion of peace" and one that we have to "respect." He even suggested at the last inaugural that the Qur’an is somehow part of our American heritage and culture.
I do not say this is hard to swallow because I do not believe it, but rather because it sticks in my craw. It leaves a bitter taste precisely because I believe it. Sperry is not a radical right-wing war monger, he doesn’t call for all out war with Islam, only for a reasonable look at who the enemy truly is. For example he asks that we listen to the words so-called Muslim moderates use when condemning terrorism:
Muslim leaders play an elaborate word game to hide the dark side of Islam to gain wider acceptance in Washington. They condemn all acts of "terrorism against innocent people," but they don't necessarily view Americans or Israelis as "innocent" or acts of violence against us as "terrorism." Many secretly view it simply as justice. You'll never hear them condemn "all acts of violence against non-Muslims."
That passage really gave me pause. Sperry has identified the Muslim extremists as “the perfect enemy”, and a worse threat than the Soviet Union ever was. This is a threat that is both internal and external, and is working it‘s way deep into the political and legal infrastructure of the nation:
It's worse than the communist threat. Bad as the Cold war threat was, the communists never attacked us. And their spies were atheists who were relatively easy to distrust, easy to bribe over to our side. But we're now dealing with religious zealots -- the Green Menace, green being the color of Islam -- who are not only passionate in their hatred for us, but are using our religious tolerance as cover to infiltrate our security agencies and steal our secrets as agents and sympathizers for the bad guys. They're using our tolerances and freedoms against us. They operate with virtual political and religious immunity, and are therefore much harder than the Red spies to ferret out. They are the perfect enemy. Washington needs to wake up to this new spy threat. It's not just about fighting terrorists anymore. It's also about fighting their spies and sympathizers.
I can’t say for certain that Sperry is correct in all his assertions, but I am certain that we are doing a great disservice to our national security by playing PC games. If the pan-Islamofascist movement adopted uniforms and a banner tomorrow that allowed us to single them out and engage in traditional warfare I would embrace the “war” analogy. Until that happens we need to demand of our leaders, and the leaders of our allied nations, that we be granted the protection of common sense. We know by and large who the soldier of choice of the enemy is- he is a young Muslim male, and that is where we need to start looking. That, Mr. Cole, is the common background.
I’ll close with a bit of the Russian poem "Courage" by Anna Akhmatova, written during the siege of Leningrad, that I find very apropos:
We know what now lies in the balance,
What is now coming to pass we know.
The hour of courage has struck on our clock
And courage will never abandon us.
Majesty, they are your "windows to the civilized world."
Saudi King Fahd has succumbed to pneumonia, and King Abdullah has ascended to the throne in one of the most pivotal countries on the planet- Saudi Arabia. So what, exactly, does that mean to us? Not much. Saudi Arabia is a kingdom in turmoil, breeding terror and bleeding oil. Extremism is the order of the day- the world's number one terrorist (OBL in case you weren't paying attention) is just as pissed as the Saudis as he is at us, largely because they invited us onto sacred soil, to be sure, but still.
The Saudis, for their part, are as much in denial as the American Left is. Never mind the decline in wealth in the Kingdom over the past two decades
:Saudi Arabia's per capita income fell from over $20,900 per person in 1980 to about $12,200 per person in 2001. Saudi real (adjusted for inflation) oil export revenues, a cornerstone of the country's economy, fell more than 70% between 1980 and the 2004 forecast, while per capita real oil export revenues in 2004 were only 13% of their 1980 figure,
or the rise in extremism at home
:Even after September 11, the Wahhabi bureaucracy in Saudi Arabia continues to foster religious extremism. When bombs go off in Israel, Kenya, Indonesia, and elsewhere, Saudi Arabia is still the main source of the terrorist money. The kingdom is an unwavering nerve center of ideological indoctrination, incitement, and terrorist financing.From time to time, the Saudi elite attempts to confuse Western opinion by claiming that it too is the target of Islamic terror, a rather hollow gesture to hide its complicity in terrorism. Saudi Arabia, being a police state, the monarchy long ago could have ridded itself of extremist elements. But the sobering reality is that international terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda are directly impelled by Saudi clerics.
The Arab News wants you to remember King Fahd as a patron of the arts and sports
:Throughout King Fahd's reign, arts and recreation flourished. Despite many demands of the state, he keenly supported the construction of recreational centers and the development of arts organizations and societies that encouraged the continuity of traditional art and culture.
OK, sure. Fahd, after all, is gone. Life is for the living, let the dead rest, yada yada yada. Abdullah is finally King (for now, he is 80 years old), but he has been de facto ruler of the nation for most of the last decade. So what can we expect from him know that he has the throne? More of the same. Abdullah is a totalitarian, he adheres to the old ways, with no sign of interest in modernizing the Kingdom or cracking down on extremists:
"We believe in the Islamic law as a constitution and in moderation as a way for improving and developing in all fields," local press Tuesday quoted Abdullah as saying.
"Anything in the country could be debated except Islamic faith and everything could be put out for discussion exception national unity, pride and security," Abdullah said during the inauguration of a development project at King Fahd Petroleum University Monday night.
He asserted that, "We will continue in the path of the religion without being affected by the extremist criminals and traitors," in an allusion to Muslim fundamentalists believed responsible for bombing attacks in the oil-rich kingdom.
The House of Saud will be busy in the coming months and years trying to establish the future successions. Their primary concern will be remaining in power. Abdallahlah has appointed a new Crown Prince and presumptive heir, Defense Minister Sultan bin Abdulaziz, who is himself on the far side of 80. He may in fact only be a place holder for his younger brother (72 years young), interior minister Prince Nayef, however. Noticing a pattern here?
Young Saudis, disenfranchised to begin with (local elections not withstanding), do not appear to have much to look forward to in the coming years. Future leaders are being identified for the strength of their connection to the past. For Saudi youth the future promises more of the same, but worse. With 60% of the population under the age of 25, and unemployment in the high teens this spells bad news for the house of Saud, and for us. Regular readers know that I do not believe that poverty causes terrorism, but combined with boredom, apathetic leadership and a steady diet of sanctioned anti-Western hate filled diatribes that pass as education, it does play a role. These kids may not be the next Mohammed Atta, but they can certainly be used as homicide bombers. Samar Fatany, that rarest of creatures, a female Saudi radio journalist has the following to say on this subject:
Schools, universities and academic institutions also are responsible for providing our youth with an education that meets the requirements of the job market and develops the potential of every student. Saudi researchers estimate that more than 50 percent of the work force is without a high school diploma, and college graduates make up less than 20 percent of the total population. Current public school graduates lack the mathematical, scientific and language skills necessary in the job market. English and an adequate knowledge of computers are mandatory today. They are our windows to the civilized world. Unfortunately, the majority of our graduates do not speak English, and they are also computer illiterate, which puts their average qualifications well below international standards.
Endless hours of boredom and wasted time in emptiness are reasons enough to make them seek adventure that can divert young people from healthy lives and destroy their chances for happiness and success. This also explains why many Saudi youths are easily brainwashed by extremists who advocate terrorism. At this stage in their lives, they are not mature enough and are vulnerable to the deviants, who may exploit them and use them for criminal purposes.
Half of our population is below 20 years old, so the researcher suggests the creation of a Ministry for Youth to look after their affairs. The Ministry of Education recently started modernizing its curricula and monitoring the performance of various institutions, with special attention paid to science and vocational institutes. Almost 25 percent of the country’s general budget has been allocated to education. However, Saudi education experts and academics still hold the universities responsible for the slow and ineffective educational programs that do not keep pace with the socioeconomic changes sweeping the country. Furthermore, recommendations and the mechanism for implementing reforms to the educational system were identified in Crown Prince Abdullah’s opinion document on higher education. We need to see efficient and quick implementation. We hope and pray that bureaucratic and financial reasons will not stand in the way of much-needed educational reforms in the Kingdom.
Educators stress the need to build and maintain strong citizenship among the youth in order to foster patriotism and national pride. Moderation and dialogue should replace fanaticism and extremism that were the dominating forces in Saudi society in recent years. The National Dialogue Center, initiated by Crown Prince Abdullah, has a large role to play in promoting a culture of constructive debate. One of the significant issues raised by young people during the fourth National Dialogue, held recently in the Eastern Province, was the problem of too much leisure time on the hands of Saudi youth. The young participants also called for the establishment of literary clubs, libraries and better facilities for sports activities to enable them to invest their days in useful and constructive ways.
In addition to that, they criticized the curricula and urged implementation of much-needed revisions. They attributed the decline of educational standards in the Kingdom to unqualified teachers and inadequate facilities. Upgrading the educational system is one of the many challenges that the Saudi leadership has to address. However, catering to the large youth segment of society, which constitutes 60 percent of the total population, and providing the guidance to protect them from extremism and fanaticism is a formidable challenge that should not be underestimated. Will these educational challenges be addressed with the required urgency? Can Saudi youth hope for a better future soon? Let us not procrastinate and miss the opportunity to protect our youth with quality education and a fulfilling environment that leaves no room for terrorist activities.
Hillary got it wrong when she said that it takes a village to raise a child, but she was not too far off. Sometimes it takes a village to remind a parent of his or her responsibilities. If the House of Saud wants there to be a Kingdom for future rulers to control they need a wake up call. Abdullah should remember that the future of his nation lies not in the hands of a group of old men, but in the idle hands and hate filled minds of the young. No village, including a global one, will stand idle while the neighborhood children play with fire and gasoline.