The House of Bush continues to serve the House of Saud

Am I the only one who thinks that the real significance of Bush Administration saber-rattling toward Syria is that there is now no hope that the war in Iraq was the prelude to getting serious with Saudi Arabia? I never thought there was much chance of this, but I know several people more hawkish than I who were confident that, once we had finished dealing with the folks who — nasty and dangerous as they were — had roughly no ties to al-Qaeda and no role in the 9-11 massacre, we would turn our attention to the country that provided most of the conspirators and most of the money. No such luck. (If you really get off on far-out conspiracy theories, take a look at this one. No, I don’t think I’m buying, either.)

Meanwhile, back in the courtroom, lawyers for the Saudi Defense Minister (who has retained James Baker’s law firm, one of whose former partners — George W. Bush’s personal lawyer — is now ambassador to Saudi Arabia) seem to be saying that if in fact he helped finance the 9-11 bombings he did so in his official capacity, and therefore can’t be sued. If Mike Isikoff is as tenacious about this story as he was about Bill Clinton’s love life, there’s a huge opportunity here for the right Democrat.

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