Wolfowitz: Bases in Arabia Motivated al Qaeda

by | May 17, 2007 | Stress Blog | 10 comments

I hate to give away the introduction to my next article, but this can’t wait. —Former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz to Sam Tannenhaus Vanity Fair, May 9th, 2003:

“There are a lot of things that are different now [that the U.S. occupies Iraq], and one that has gone by almost unnoticed — but it’s huge — is that … we can now remove almost all of our forces from Saudi Arabia. Their presence there over the last 12 years has been a source of enormous difficulty for a friendly government. It’s been a huge recruiting device for al Qaeda.

“In fact if you look at bin Laden, one of his principle grievances was the presence of so-called crusader forces on the holy land, Mecca and Medina. I think just lifting that burden from the Saudis is itself going to open the door to other positive things.

“I don’t want to speak in messianic terms. It’s not going to change things overnight, but it’s a huge improvement.”

Hat tip to Thomas Woods at LRC.

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