Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Is Mike Huckabee About To Start Asking Some Really Difficult Questions About Saudi Arabia?

MSNBC just reported that the Huckabee campaign said today that their candidate would try to draw distinctions between himself and John McCain on the issue of immigration in South Carolina.

MSNBC further reported that one way Huckabee might do that is by supporting a temporary hold on legal immigration from countries that sponsor or harbor terrorists. Countries like Saudi Arabia.

This is an interesting development to say the least. And one that the Saudis won't be real thrilled about.

It's no secret in Washington that Saudi Arabia's geographic location and vast oil reserve make the Saudis an ally of necessity with the United States. Or so conventional wisdom goes.

It's also no secret that the Saudis spread a LOT of money around. Everywhere. To everyone.

What is less talked about, at least publicly, is how screwed up Saudi Arabia is at the present moment. And how Saudi Arabia's inability to keep their own house in order directly threatens the national security of the United States.

The Atlantic Monthly has a take here.

PBS's Frontline has a take here.

Not a lot of people in Washington want to have this conversation. First, so many people are dependent on the Saudis for their livelihood. Second, we're addicted to oil, which presents its own national security issues. And third, even really smart people disagree on how to deal with the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia.

But, in our always humble opinion, it's time that America started having this conversation. Plainly and publicly.

Which brings us back to a former Baptist preacher running for President. Who has almost nothing to lose highlighting the warts of "business as usual" between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

If Mike Huckabee can use the presidential campaign spotlight to start a serious discussion about America's relationship with Saudi Arabia we think that the voters will be well served.

It's about time that somebody did it.

Just like we think it's about time that the American economy moves off of fossil fuels. Entirely.

It's a national security issue.

We're just saying.