September 18, 2008

There are things to really like about John McCain...

I'd recommend this, by Nibras Kazimi, What would a McCain presidency mean for the Middle East?

A McCain presidency can't be a very reassuring thing for the House of Saud. Senator McCain is probably one of a handful of Washington players that the influential former Saudi ambassador to the U.S., Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, couldn't get through to over the last two decades. The Saudis never saw the need to do that; they assumed that McCain was too anti-establishment, given his integrity-bound internal compass and natural maverick-ism, to ever make it to the highest rungs of the power game.

They may be proven wrong.

The Saudis can't rely on existing channels to McCain that he has trusted and is likely to trust, whereas even with President George W. Bush, though he may have been alerted to the idea that the Saudi regime may be a liability more than an ally, at least he could be reached and reasoned with either through his father's network, the Republican Party 'realist' foreign policy camp or the oil companies.

No such long-standing channels connect the Saudis to McCain. He is too off their navigational charts, making him too dangerous for the long-term survivability of the Saudi royals for comfort; McCain is not a card-carrying member of the "This is how it's always been, and this is how it should stay" elite--both Republican and Democrat--that's been rubbing shoulders with the Saudis for decades.

Let's posit a hypothetical: How would America respond to another attack of the same or greater magnitude as 911, either on U.S. or European soil, and with young Saudis again being heavily involved?

With McCain as president, the White House would be ready to contemplate a future Middle East that does not include the House of Saud remaining in power. A McCain presidency would challenge the conventional status quo, pushed by the Middle Eastern-related bureaucracies at the State Department, the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency, that the Saudi royals are needed to maintain stability within their country and throughout the region.

McCain would likely see the Saudi royals are part of the problem, rather than as part of the solution. Alternatively, McCain may seek to invest more heavily in Iraq, a country and a cause dear to his heart, as the new regional power, and as America's most important Muslim ally in the region...

Read on; he's got Obama figured out too...

And I'll go out on a limb and guess that President Palin will not be wildly impressed by Saudi princelings and their loot either....

Posted by John Weidner at September 18, 2008 3:39 PM
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