Taking on the Saudis

Kerry gets it right.

I’m still hoping Kerry goes after Prince Bandar personally, but Kerry’s speech yesterday already contained tougher language about Saudi Arabia than we’re ever likely to hear coming out of George W. Bush’s mouth:

If we are serious about energy independence, then we can finally be serious about confronting the failure of Saudi Arabia to do all that it can to stop financing and providing ideological support of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.

We cannot continue this administration’s kid glove approach to the supply and laundering of terrorist money. As president, I will impose tough financial sanctions against nations or banks that engage in money laundering and facilitate terror in this world, and we will take strong steps against those who fail to act. I will launch a “name and shame” campaign against those that are financing terror, and if they do not respond, they will be shut out of the U.S. financial system.

And the same goes for Saudi sponsorship of clerics who promote the ideology of Islamic terror. To put it simply, we will not do business as usual with any country that does not demonstrate its full will to partner in this struggle. They must all take concrete steps to stop their clerics from fueling the fires of Islamic extremism.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com

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